‘Unauthorised encampments’ causing “toxic fumes, littering and disruption” in Milton Keynes

"Unauthorised encampments happening, on average, every three to four days"

Monday, 20th September 2021, 4:58 pm

‘Unauthorised encampments’ continues to cause “toxic fumes, littering and disruption” in Milton Keynes, it has been claimed.

Tattenhoe Cllr James Lancaster raised the matter to Milton Keynes Council, claiming the local authority needed to ‘do more to tackle’ the issue.

He asked why the council had not spent some of its budget ‘improving security at sensitive sites’.

Milton Keynes

Bletchley West Cllr Lauren Townsend said the council enforcement team “do get on it as soon as they’re reported”.

“In 2020, as well as this year, unauthorised encampments were happening, on average, every three to four days,” said Cllr Lancaster.

“This is an issue residents continue to raise with me, most frequently, with reports of toxic fumes, littering and disruption to the local areas.

“It is clear that the council needs to be doing more to tackle unauthorised encampments.”

He added: “Given the importance to residents, why has the council not spent the remaining budget on improving security at sensitive sites.”

“Unauthorised encampments – yes, we had one about a week-and-a-half ago,” replied Cllr Townsend.

“The enforcement team let me know that it was reported on the Friday, and it was gone by the Monday, so we do have a really good enforcement team, they do get on it as soon as they’re reported.

“And we do have a lot of reports come in, as you can imagine.

“In terms of the [security], we have put [it] on a lot of the older hotspots and we have found them to be successful.

“There are several areas we’re looking at, at the minute, where [security] could still go in.

“We have slightly more issue on the security gates, there are a couple of sites identified for security gates, but there were some sites where football groups and other groups use them, and they need vehicle access.

“We are having to have ongoing conversations when it’s land round the back of pavilions and stuff.”

She added: “If there are any specific sites you’re concerned about in your ward, or in anybody’s ward, just get in touch and we will have a look at what we can do to protect it.”