This morning I met with Sheila Peters, Chris Hall and Caterina Willmott from the city council along with Sgt Simon Renouf from Sussex Police. We met on the Lawns.
There was agreement among all of us that the council apply for a Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, at the earliest time possible. This would in effect instruct those on the land to leave forthwith. The city council is now drawing up the order, and agreeing it with Sussex Police who then enforce it, if necessary. When we spoke we were hoping to have this operational from this afternoon- preferably as soon as possible. Sheila will provide an update for me which I will share with you. We have already agreed with Cityclean that there will be a tidy up of the lawns when the traveller vehicles leave the site. A statement to this effect was published by the city council earlier.
This follows Hannah and I raising the issue almost as soon as we heard about it over the weekend and weekend monitoring from different council teams with the statement being circulated. “The traveller encampment that arrived yesterday is one of the largest the seafront have seen in a while and it requires to be dealt with by those who have been specially trained, especially when they are on the scale that this one is. The Traveller liaison team will be there tomorrow and the emergency planning are aware of the situation. The site is being monitored. We can keep you up to day tomorrow when we know more.”
We will be discussing the issue including future prevention of land incursion at the next meeting of the Local Action Team on Tuesday September 10th. We are aware this has caused distress to some of you and has been reported by some of the media in a sensationalist fashion. We are committed to doing what we can on this which is why we have pushed for the strongest and fastest action possible. We are happy to help if we can with any further queries.
In a separate move further to a court ruling this morning, the tent occupants must move by Thursday or eviction will take place.
Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty