Travellers on land opp Hazelwell Park, Stirchley - March 2017

The council has successfully gained two injunctions banning encampments from moving onto four city parks and recreation grounds until July 2019.

A High Court judge issued the injunctions which include Selly Oak Park, Selly Park Recreation Ground and Hazelwell Park as well as Perry Park and Alexander Stadium.

The ruling came into effect immediately, banning households from setting up or joining encampments on any of the four sites.

It is the first time the council has used injunctions to tackle unauthorised encampments on council owned land. Anyone who breaches the orders covering these parks and recreation grounds may be arrested, will be guilty of contempt of court and may be fined, have their assets seized or face imprisonment.

The news comes on the same week local MP Steve McCabe 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.

 

Trip fencing installed in Stirchley to prevent travellers from accessing the land

Steve McCabe 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.”

Mark Croxford, Head of Environmental Health at Birmingham City Council, said: “We have succeeded in getting two High Court injunctions which ban any encampments from moving onto four of the city’s parks and recreation grounds for two years, until July 2019.

“This is a new tool for us to use to prevent antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping associated with unauthorised encampments. We will monitor the impact this has on the four sites and may look at taking similar action on other locations affected by repeat incursions.”

The council’s Environmental Health department applied for the injunctions after a series of traveller incursions in Perry Park and Selly Oak, during which residents reported incidents of antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping.

Both injunctions ban people from entering or remaining on any part of the parks and recreation grounds covered by the injunctions to establish, join or be part of an encampment.