In the West Midlands the number of unauthorised traveller encampments has doubled since 2011. Solihull has experienced twice as many encampments this year as in 2015.
Responding to this increase, Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden said:
“These increases are despite a number of recent changes to the law which enabled Police to serve an eviction notice under section 61 of the Criminal Justice Act as long as there is clear evidence of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and criminality. It is clear that there is a balance to be struck between protections for the settled community and for the traveller community”.
In working to tackle this issue, Caroline has, for the second time, met with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to discuss possible legislative changes.
Of her meeting with the Secretary of State, Caroline commented:
“The Government recognises the problem and across the West Midlands increases in the number of illegal traveller encampments have been well documented. As MP for Bromsgrove, the Secretary of State is also affected by the high incidence in the West Midlands. There have been Parliamentary debates and the Secretary of State has launched a consultation on the matter. I have submitted a number of suggestions based on our local experience.”