Travellers group at Government Acre issued notice to leave by council

Notice to leave has been issued Photo Nik Mitchell

Notice to leave has been served on a Traveller group which moved on to Government Acre in Ramsgate yesterday (June 27).

Around eight to ten caravans are currently parked up on the green,

A Thanet council spokesman said: “Thanet District Council’s Community Safety Team are aware that travellers are on the land at Government Acre and council officers have visited them today to carry out the necessary welfare checks. As there are no welfare concerns a Section 77 Order has been issued.”

Photo Nik Mitchell

Travellers last used the Chine in March after being moved on from the Sunken Gardens. Prior to that they had been at Dane Valley Green after being moved from  the Marina Esplanade car park in Ramsgate.

Photo Nik Mitchell

There are also around 10 caravans currently parked up on Dane Valley Green in Margate. Some of this group left the site yesterday but today has seen new arrivals.

There are currently no authorised pitches in Thanet district. A report commissioned by Thanet council says the district should provide five Traveller pitches -to accommodate 10 caravans – in the five year period up to 2022 and then an additional two pitches – equating to four more caravans- by 2031.

There were 50 unauthorised camps in Thanet last year, compared to just two in 2013. There have been at least 20 this year, mainly consisting of groups moving from one isle site to another.

A spokesman from the Friends, Families and Travellers organisation has previously told The Isle of Thanet News that a lack of official sites is forcing groups to pull up on public land and not enough is being done to address that issue.

UPDATE 4PM: Most of the group has now left Government Acre,

Thanet council process explained

Photo Nik Mitchell

The first step is to notify Kent Police and Kent County Council’s Gypsy and Traveller unit.

TDC then visit the site to establish the extent of the encampment, make records of the number of caravans, tents or persons, complete required welfare checks, make records of vehicle registration plates and take photographs where necessary.  Welfare checks are required by law and any welfare concerns are escalated to the relevant support agencies or departments.

If no concerns for welfare are raised or can not be evidenced, a Notice is served detailing an imminent departure time.

If welfare concerns are raised and can be evidenced or the encampment is in a location that causes no safety concerns and there are no other anti-social or criminal behaviours present then Government guidance states that the encampment should be tolerated for a short period of time.

If the encampment remains past the time detailed on the Notice, a first court hearing is requested. The timescales in order to carry out appropriate checks and obtain hearings may mean there is 7-10 days between first visit to the encampment and the first court hearing.

If agreed by Magistrates, the court will issue a summons to the occupants of the encampment requiring attendance at a second hearing.  This is then served on the occupants by the council with police support.

The court can schedule this second hearing at anytime they see fit. The council cannot influence this timescale.

At the second hearing the court considers granting an order for removal; if granted this is then served on the occupants and gives them a date and time by which they must leave the land they are camped on.

If this order is not complied with then the council has to instruct bailiffs to forcibly remove the occupants and their vehicles.


  1. I can see that they might have rights to pitch up where ever they like and leave rubbish and building waste, that is a given. But if they commit criminal damage to get on site. Then it must be a crime that Police can deal with.

  2. There were 50 unauthorised camps in Thanet last year, compared to just two in 2013.

    So why has thanet become rich pickings for them who is giving them work ??

  3. this government is to liberal and weak and the thanet council worse.perhaps we should all get together and refuse to pay our rates then see how quick this council gets the government to change the law its a farce that the thanet council clears them and they return why cant they go to designated sites that are in aylesham and be charged rates like the rest of us if they refuse kick them out of the county of Kent or should i say the garden of Kent not with them around.

    • Mike, do you honestly think a small district council has it in their power to change the law of the united kingdom? If you do then I would suggest you refuse to pay your council tax and deprive Thanet council of their 13p in every pound to teach them a valuable lesson.

  4. If they want a permanent place in Thanet, no-one is stopping them buying the land to do it. They do not pay taxes, can spend days in car parks for free when normal people get fined if they overstay by a few minutes and have expensive caravans but the taxpayer is supposed to provide them with free land?
    The arrival of travelers to any area could be a positive thing if they were not so disruptive. With the last few groups I have witnessed in action, you could not go up to them with your kids and ask for an insight into their lifestyle as before you got close enough you have kids telling you to f*** off and threatening you. I know not all groups will be like that but the ones who are are turning people against all travelers.

  5. So once again why do you Tolerate these people you know they are a blight on all we hold dear they pay no tax no duty they do not uphold the law they lie steal cheat they dump rubbish fly tips steal fuel burgle our houses sell drugs hare course dog fight badger bait cock fight poach our rivers walk out of restaurants without paying bully intimidate yet you let them stay and are going to put land aside for them it’s a joke you charge us council tax for these facilities yet the cancer in society gets away Scot free

  6. Its true many of these so called travellers are anti-social, and are taking us all for a ride not paying taxes etc, and leaving the sites filthy with their rubbish and excrement, but perhaps they are doing this on purpose in order for the council to provide them with a permanent site? Why not let them use some of the waste ground between Tesco, and the empty university buildings, providing toilets, and ablutions are installed! They should be charged a rental, and pay Council Tax, then perhaps they will learn to stop poncing off of us!

  7. Of course in days gone by at this time of year all the travellers would be gainfully employed on the now defunked cherry tree orchards, they used to spend most the summer there keeping birds off the trees and cherry picking, never a problem had many a goodnight down the sportsman pub with them, afraid its just a sign of the times cherries no longer profitable loss of summer pitches for the travellers.

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