I am writing in response to the article about travellers on Southwick Green (Shoreham Herald, Thursday, May 28), and the obvious concern and frequent disruption such incursions cause to local people.
Most of our local incursions are seasonal, and readers might recall that, as a council, Adur District Council recognised that something needed to be done, and, along with all the other councils in West Sussex, contributed to the building of a public transit site located near Chichester.
The intention was to provide the means for Sussex Police to use their powers, under Section 62, to move travellers as soon as possible from unlawful occupation of public land accompanied by sanctions for non-compliance, as well as reduce the issues for local people and save money from the public purse.
Initially there was some public concern as to whether the new site would actually have a positive effect on such issues.
The recent incursion onto Southwick Green was the second time police powers have been used under Section 62 in Adur alone, made possible by the new site, and, on both occasions, it has led to the speedy removal of the travellers.
In the case of Southwick Green, removal took less than a day, when previously it could have been seven days, or even longer depending on court availability.
While each future unlawful incursion needs to be treated on its merits, it is likely, as word gets around the traveller community that such incursions will not be tolerated and that refusal to move will be met with police action, less will see Adur as a soft touch and move elsewhere.
There are now positive signs that there will be a significant reduction in future unlawful incursions, public concern, disturbance, and the associated costs of obtaining an eviction order.
It was also pleasing to receive positive comments from members of the public who wrote in to thank us for the speedy way in which Adur District Council staff cleared up after the site was vacated.
I would like to say thank you to them, and people can rest assured that as a council we will continue to do our best for the people of the Adur district.
Councillor David Simmons
executive member for health and well-being
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