injunction - travellers leave Barony Park

Travellers who broke through new barriers onto Barony Park in Nantwich in breach of a court injunction were moved on shortly before 4pm today.

It was the first test of the new two-year injunction granted to Cheshire East Council last August.

The unauthorised encampment arrived at around 8pm last night (March 29), but were not served notice to leave until 10am this morning by a Cheshire East Council officer.

Once notice is served, under the injunction they have four hours to vacate the land or risk being arrested for Contempt of Court.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Dr Kieran Mullan said the injunction was “not a perfect solution” but that compared to previous unauthorised encampments which have stayed for as long as six or seven days, it was an improvement.

And he called on Cheshire East Council to put in place an “out of hours” response to ensure any future encampments in breach of the injunction are tackled more quickly.

The injunction and new perimeter fencing were put in place after years of unauthorised encampments on the park which has left many residents angry and frustrated at lack of action.

Cheshire East’s lack of an official transit site has also meant police have few powers to move travellers on.

Dr Mullan said: “I never said there were any quick or easy fixes to this problem but look where we are today compared to two years ago.

“Dealt with in less than 24 hours compared to a week or more.

“So much for all the negativity that nothing was going to make a difference!

“Not a perfect solution but we are much better off than if we had done nothing.

“Thank you to Cheshire Police and Cheshire East for making use of the powers available to them now.

“This might happen again.

“Barony has a reputation as an easy place to pitch up which will take time to shake.

“This is what all the residents have achieved by working with Friends of Barony Park.

“I know this might mean encampments elsewhere in Nantwich but the Barony is at the heart of the community and used by so many and the people living alongside it have suffered a lot and we had to start somewhere.

“Cheshire East needs to think again urgently about an out of hours response to this issue, especially with the bank holidays coming up.

“Otherwise we will be waiting too long sometimes and we won’t break the pattern of behaviour that has become established.

“I will also carry on supporting changes to the law, despite opposition from Labour who seem to think people have a human right to live wherever they want and commit criminal damage to do it. The law abiding majority should always come first.”

We asked Cheshire East Council why an out of hours response is not currently in place. We re awaiting a reply.

In an ealier statement a CEC spokesman said: “Following a visit by our officer and Cheshire Police, earlier today, the unauthorised encampment at Barony Park has now left and a full clean-up of the site has been requested.”

A Cheshire Police spokeswoman said: “At 8.30pm on March 29 police were made aware of an encampment on Barony Park in Nantwich.

“At 10.30am this morning (30 March) an injunction was served on the owners of the vehicles and they have now left the park.

“We have investigated the allegation of criminal damage and will continue to work with the local authority when incidents of concern arise around the park.”

(Image courtesy of Nantwich News reader)

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