Thanet Community Safety officers will carry out a further welfare check for Travellers who are currently on authority-owned land in Palm Bay.
The group have been moving around various plots of land within the area since the beginning of the month.
Initially set up on council land, the group then moved to Southern Water’s treatment plant. A welfare check was carried out at that time but Southern Water then carried out an eviction.
The group is now back on council land.
A Thanet council spokesperson said: “A Traveller encampment was initially on private land. As the land they had stopped on was privately owned, the council were unable to carry out an eviction. The council’s Community Safety Officers did however completed welfare checks.
“The encampment has recently been removed from the private land by the land owners. On Sunday, May 16 the encampment moved onto council-owned land.
“Community Safety officers will complete welfare checks again to see if there have been any changes since their last visit. If welfare needs are identified then support will be offered. Appropriate action will take place once these checks have been completed.”
Following any report of an unauthorised encampment, the council will take steps to establish ownership and notify the owner of the encampment who is then responsible to take steps to re-possess if no permissions have been given.
The council also work alongside other support agencies to assess any welfare needs of individuals that may be camped, and will undertake any necessary support referrals.
The council is only legally able to remove encampments on land which they own or lease and all enforcement takes an incremental approach and takes into consideration factors including the impact it is having on the wider community and if there is associated anti social behaviour being caused.
The Community Safety Team respond to reports of an unauthorised encampment and liaise with other departments such as housing, open spaces and agencies such as Kent Police and Porchlight.
A ruling on ‘wide injunctions’ against Travellers and Gypsies
A landmark ruling this month has marked the end of councils using blanket bans against Gypsies and Travellers who have nowhere to stop.
The judgement was that wide injunctions can only be granted against individuals who can be named or properly identified. Councils need to demonstrate they have notified them about the legal proceedings. Wide injunctions cannot apply to anyone who is not notified about the final court hearing. This means that any Gypsies or Travellers who come on the land at a later date will not be covered by the injunction.
Wide injunctions against “persons unknown” have been used by councils in England to prevent Gypsies and Travellers from stopping on public land since 2015.
At a High Court hearing in January, 13 councils from across England defended their wide injunctions. Friends, Families and Travellers, London Gypsies and Travellers and the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups acted as interveners in the case with legal representation from Garden Court Chambers and Community Law Partnership. Following the judgment, it is likely that all injunctions against “persons unknown” will be discharged (source Families, Friends and Travellers charity).