Are the authorities playing ‘blame game’ over traveller camp problem in Milton Keynes?

Travellers camp generic picture
Travellers camp generic picture

A ‘blame game’ about the city’s traveller problem has this week broken out between MPs and the Police and Crime Commissioner – despite the fact that they are all Tories.

PCC Anthony Stansfeld, who is paid £85,000 a year, said police and MK Council are doing their best to deal with unauthorised camps, damage, “filth” and fly tipping that is escalating in Milton Keynes.

But he insisted: “The fault lies firmly with parliament”.

In a letter to Labour council leader Pete Marland he stated: “Your MPs should be lobbied to push for far tighter rules around illegal traveller encampments.”

This prompted an immediate and disgruntled response from MK’s two Tory MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster.

They said: “As the elected representative responsible for Thames Valley Police, no one is better placed to lobby the government for more powers than the Police and Crime Commissioner... we hope he has been doing so.”

The MPs, who have raised the MK traveller problem with ministers, added: “One of the biggest issues has been the inability of the police and MK Council to take responsibility. The blame game has only added to residents’ frustrations.”

Meanwhile Pete Marland said of Mr Stansfeld’s letter: “I would have hoped for a more proactive response... But it is time we had proper laws.”

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