Birmingham MP, Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak) has welcomed a recent High Court decision to grant injunctions preventing unauthorised encampments at three key sites in Selly Oak.
Over the last couple of months Selly Oak has seen unauthorised traveller encampments springing up on a nearly weekly basis. This has resulted in a game of cat and mouse where travellers move onto one park, get evicted then proceed to the next park, before starting the cycle all over again. It has also left many local residents upset and frustrated after finding that their local parks and leisure facilities are regularly placed out of bounds. Local people have also raised their concerns about the ongoing cost to the council of repeated evictions and clean-up operations.
The new injunctions, which apply to Selly Oak Park, Selly Park Recreation Ground and Hazelwell Park will make it an arrestable offence for anyone to set up an unauthorised encampment with a purpose to reside on these sites. They also set up exclusion zones around the sites to help police tackle antisocial behaviour.
Earlier this week Steve tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons calling for action to tackle the persistent problem of unauthorised traveller encampments blighting his constituency and South Birmingham while ensuring that the human rights of traveller communities are recognised.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“I’m really pleased to see the High Court has granted injunctions stopping unauthorised encampments on these sites. This is great news for local residents and a welcome but small step. It’s still very important that the Government review the existing legal powers to ensure that my constituents are spared the ‘cat & mouse’ game they’ve been forced to endure for months.
“This judgement deals with a very small part of my constituency but I’m determined to push on with the outstanding issues by demanding a full debate in the House of Commons.”