In Parliament yesterday I pressed the Government for further assurances on powers for the Police and local authorities to deal with unauthorised encampments.
Last week I highlighted a string of recent unauthorised encampments at a series of sites across Newport and the huge frustration and cost for residents.
Speaking in the Commons yesterday, I “The department recently consulted on extra powers for local authorities and the police to deal with unauthorised encampments, which we’ve had a series of recently in Newport. Can we have an update from Ministers on what progress is being made so that our authorities have the powers they need?”
James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, responded by saying that he was engaged in discussions with ministerial colleagues on this issue in recognition of the pressures that exist for authorities.
The Minister is right to recognise the pressures our local authorities and police forces face when dealing with unauthorised encampments. These encampments are frustrating for residents and can come at a cost to police and the Council. The incident at Beechwood Park was fortunately dealt with quickly, but this is not always a straightforward process – all the more reason why we need the Government to give our authorities the tools they need to act as swiftly as possible.