'˜Summer of misery' saw 177 illegal traveller camps invade Milton Keynes

The toll of illegal travellers' camps in MK has reached 177 during this year alone.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 6:00 am
Traveller camp

This week city Conservatives blamed the “summer of misery” on Milton Keynes Council’s failure to make adequate preparations.

The Tories claim that at the height of the crisis MK Council did not have a dedicated team to deal with unauthorised encampments.

They allege an email from a senior officer in July confirmed the council had not responded to the government’s review into powers to deal with unauthorised caravan sites earlier this year.

But Labour deny they have failed to take action, and blame central government for a lack of powers.

This week the Labour Cabinet will provide plans for injunctions on sites. But the move comes more than six months after residents requested more action.

Tattenhoe Tory councillor Geetha Morla said: “The council was desperately under-prepared for dealing with travellers. When the number of unauthorised camps was at its height the council did not have a dedicated team working on it. They had not got a grip of the situation....We’ve had a summer of misery that’s at risk of turning into an autumn and winter of misery.”

Council leader Pete Marland said the traveller team was cut by the Tories during their reign on the council. Also MPs are not taking the issue seriously, he claimed.