Review into how travellers are dealt with in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:34 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 August 2019

St Albans council is conducting a review into how traveller incursions are dealt with in the district. Picture: Archant

St Albans council is conducting a review into how traveller incursions are dealt with in the district. Picture: Archant

Archant

A review is being held to assess whether residents know how traveller incursions are dealt with in St Albans.

Councillors at St Albans City and District Council want to hear from the public about whether they know where to go to for advice if travellers pitch up camp, or if such information needs to be better publicised.

The feedback from the review will be used to compile a report for the planning, resources, housing and commercial scrutiny committee's meeting on Thursday, September 12.

Members of the committee will also look at the council's procedures for dealing with the incursions on land to see if they could be improved.

The meeting will focus on the two specific concerns about public guidance and procedures, rather than how travellers have behaved in setting up unauthorised encampments.

A number of groups, including Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment Hertfordshire, have been asked to send a representative.

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Herts police, the county council, the police and crime commissioner and parish councils have also been asked to attend and provide evidence.

Cllr Teresa Heritage, who chairs the committee, said: "Traveller incursions happen from time to time in almost all parts of the country.

"We want to ensure that when such an event occurs in the St Albans district that people are aware of who they can turn to for advice and what they can do.

"We want to hear from the public if they know where they can get the necessary information. I hope those who can contribute to our understanding will take up this opportunity to do so and make a submission.

"We will also be looking at the procedures the council has in place to deal with an incursion fairly, effectively and promptly.

"This will be a thoughtful discussion on a complex issue and we will not be considering any allegations of antisocial behaviour or victimising travellers in any way."

The meeting will take place from 7pm on September 12 in the council chamber in the Civic Centre, St Peter's Street, and is open to the public.

Anyone wanting to make a written submission to the committee should do so by 10am on Monday, September 2, to scrutiny@stalbans.gov.uk

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