I have had multiple reports from constituents that members of the travelling community parked up on Wolstanton Marsh yesterday.
The setting up of illegal traveller sites can be a nuisance for local communities and does damage to our local open spaces. I know that many local residents are concerned about anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, and noise related to unauthorised sites.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Police have been informed of this incursion and an Eviction Notice has already been served by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council. I am glad they have acted so swiftly. A court date has been set for Monday.
The Council put up wooden bollards around the Marsh a few years ago and this has more than halved the amount of unlawful traveller incursions. I understand one bollard was destroyed during the incursion yesterday, and Cllr Simon Tagg, Leader of the Council, has assured me that the protection offered by the bollards will be reviewed following this incident.
I was also happy to support the Government's recent Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which increases the powers available to the police so they can deal with such instances much more quickly.