Local residents have raised with the Council and indeed Jill, Alan and Hamish as the ward councillors for Carshalton Central, their very understandable concerns about a number of so-called travellers who have set up an encampment in the rear of the car park off the High Street, Carshalton.
The Council has to follow an established legal procedure which is exactly the same for all councils. This is explained below :-
1) Social services must visit the encampments to establish the health and welfare of any children present, and if any of them attend school. If caravans in another group arrive after the first group (as in this case) the procedure has to be repeated for each group of travellers that arrive. Some of the Carshalton High Street group appear to be part of the group that was asked to leave Beddington Park a few days ago, and they may have been aiming for the Westcroft Centre car park, which is of course closed for refurbishment.
2) Once early years’ reports have been received for the children, the Council can serve a Section 77(1) notice. This was served at lunchtime today, 23rd May 2012 asking the travellers to leave by 5pm on Thursday 24th May 2012.
3) If they do not then leave, the council has to seek a Court Order, which may be granted this Friday or on Monday or Tuesday of next week, depending when the Court can hear the Council’s application.
4) If the Council does not follow this procedure, it will be harder for the Council to remove the travellers as they could point to non compliance of the legal procedures.
We have to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
In the meantime, the Council is of course losing money because residents cannot use the rear of Carshalton High Street car park, and so we are anxious to bring it back into normal use again as soon as possible, notwithstanding the legal procedures that need to be followed to gain the removal of the traveller group.
We hope this explains the legal requirements. More in a future posting!