The cost to the taxpayer of council measures to evict travellers has nearly doubled in three years.
Council leader John Beesley told a meeting on Tuesday that the cost of taking legal, preventative and enforcement action had increased from £87,000 in 2012 to £158,000 in 2014, with a similar expenditure expected this year.
He said the cost was justified as the law presented the town with “no alternative”.
And the poor beleaguered townsfolk probably think it’s cheap at twice the price…
However, Adnan Chaudry, chief officer of the Dorset Race Equality Council, has said the council could save money by taking a “tolerant approach” towards unauthorised encampments.
OK, Adnan, shall we start with your back garden? How many do you think you can accommodate?
Cllr Beesley told councillors the council was proud of its tough stance.
“Since 2012 Bournemouth council has adopted an increasingly intolerant approach in our response to unauthorised encampments,” he said at the meeting.
“We have invested heavily in preventative measures and have adopted a much more proactive policy to the management of all unauthorised encampments.”
He said the authority had been working on improvements to land “defences” including shielded locks, posts, gates and other barriers, and height barriers in car parks, while also posting security in King’s Park throughout the summer season.
Also, he said, the council would escalate a court possession order to a high court writ to speed up eviction if required.
I wonder if they can do it as fast as Barking and Dagenham..?
He added: “The legislation doesn’t help us, particularly the Human Rights Act, the sooner that is dealt with the better.”