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Source: St Albans City and District

Residents are being asked if they are receiving enough information and guidance about how traveller incursions in the St Albans District are dealt with.

The issue is to be examined in detail by members of a St Albans City and District Council committee.

Councillors want to hear from the public whether they know where to go to for advice in the event of an incursion or if such information needs to be better publicised.

The feedback will be used to compile a report for the Planning, Resources, Housing and Commercial Scrutiny Committee’s meeting on Thursday 12 September.

Members will also look at the Council’s own procedures for dealing with the difficult challenge of an incursion on its land to see if they could be improved.

There will not be a discussion of how travellers have behaved in setting up unauthorised encampments. 

Instead, the meeting will focus on the two specific concerns about public guidance and procedures.

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

The meeting will take place at the Council Chamber, in the Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, from 7pm and is open to the public.

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

Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire County Council and Town and Parish Councils have also been asked to attend and provide evidence.

Councillor Teresa Heritage, the Committee’s Chair, 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 City and 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.”

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