Dr Kieran Mullan on Barony Park with the draft report

A Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe & Nantwich has called on Cheshire East Council to use a Court Injunction to prevent further unauthorised encampments on Barony Park.

Conservative candidate Dr Kieran Mullan says many other UK authorities use injunctions, which would see traveller groups removed on the same day they arrive.

Dr Mullan met with residents of Barony Park in Nantwich and conducted his own survey of the issues and problems they have faced as a result of unauthorised encampments. More than 140 residents completed the survey.

He said: “I have been truly shocked about the experiences residents have been having after hearing account after account telling the same story.

“What worries me the most is the examples of what can only be described as dangerous driving that residents witness.

“Several of them said directly to me they feared it was only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured.

“But they are also fed up with the rubbish being left behind and harassment and intimidation.

“Residents should not be told they cannot take their grandchildren onto the play area without paying and they should not have to watch people defecating in car parks and bushes.

“The problem of illegal encampments on the Barony has been going on for years and residents have had enough.

“I am not interested in playing party politics on this issue or laying blame.

“The report I have released puts down in black and white the problems associated with the encampments and I am now determined we see decisive action immediately.”

He has called on Cheshire East to follow the lead set by authorities such as Walsall Council by obtaining and using a court injunction.

“At the moment we have to go through the same process of serving court orders each and every time and what we can now evidence is the extent of problems we get during the meantime.

“A court injunction would cut that time right down. We could see encampments moved on the same day they arrive.

“This issue has been raised with me by Barony residents but I know residents in Crewe and other areas are facing similar problems.”

Walsall Council obtained an injunction from the County Court which restrains anyone from setting up encampments or causing a nuisance on 25 named sites.

The application was seen as innovative and was one of the first in the country to be secured and certainly the first in the West Midlands.

Cllr Gary Perry, Portfolio Lead for Leisure, Culture and Communities for Walsall Council, discussed the approach with Dr Mullan and Barony residents last night (June 24).

He said: “We know how important it is to make sure residents are not forgotten on this issue.

“Court Injunctions are a key tool among a range of different measures.

“Kieran asked for my input because he saw the potential for using them locally.”

More than 90% of residents also support a barrier being erected around Barony Park to prevent unauthorised encampments.

“It seems clear to me we must now move forward with a barrier in consultation with residents and use the court injunctions as an interim step until progress can be made on this,” added Dr Mullan.

“We know a barrier will create challenges in terms of events run on the Barony and not everyone wants one but residents that have given their views to this process clearly need to be listened to.

“I would encourage any other residents that haven’t had a chance to share their experiences and views to do so. I have published this draft report but want to build on it with more residents input.”

Cllr Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “The council has a responsibility to address all housing needs – including those of Gypsies and Travellers.

“It is fully aware of the impact of unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments on local communities.

“Cheshire East Council continues to explore the options for a permanent Gypsy and Traveller transit site. We are in the process of undertaking a feasibility study at Cledford Hall and will establish the cost of development.

“While this work is carried out, we are considering other mechanisms to deal with the increase in unauthorised encampments.

“We recognise that this is an important issue to residents and communities and we are seeking a long-term solution to it.”

You can view the survey conducted by Dr Mullan here

One Comment

  1. Sue Barnes says:

    How strange this has been tried elsewhere yet this area hasn’t adopted the idea too.

    Don’t these folk ever talk to their counterparts around the country, or even have an email magazine circulating like many private companies do?!

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