Bid to evict travellers from Wetherby Ings

Council officials have said they are planning to evict travellers from Wetherby Ings next week.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 3:23 pm
Leeds City Council is applying for an eviction notice. Picture: Mark Bickerdike.

The move by Leeds City Council comes after complaints made to ward councillors following the arrival of ten travellers caravans on the sports fields earlier this month.

A Leeds spokesman said: “The Local Authority has a court date for the encampment at Wetherby Ings for Tuesday July 27. The eviction is planned for Wednesday July 28.

“A request to West Yorkshire Police to use their powers to evict through the use of Section 61 of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act has been declined, this will be regularly reviewed by the local Inspector.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the police and other agencies to limit the impact of this encampment.”

The authority urged people to report any activity deemed to be criminal or of anti-social nature to either West Yorkshire Police on 101 or report online at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/report-it or Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team, phone 0113 222 4402 or online at https://services.leeds.gov.uk/.../ServiceR.../Information...

Residents can also contact the Traveller Service Team for other matters. Dial 0113 378 9237 or email [email protected]

A statement issued by Wetherby Ward Councillors Alan Lamb, Norma Harrington and Linda Richards, on facebook on Thursday said: “We are as frustrated and angry as the rest of the community that this situation continues.

“It simply cannot be right that anybody can illegally set up camp and deny access to the hundreds and hundreds of people that use it every day showing a complete lack of respect to our community.

“The council have powers to evict but frustratingly they have to get a court order with the date not set until early next week.”

They added: “There will be many lessons to learn and people that need holding to account.

“Our efforts are focussed on trying to have the situation resolved as quickly as possible, ensuring the area is put back into use and made properly secure as quickly as possible and then we will seek to find more permanent ways of addressing the issue without it negatively impacting so many people.”