South Cambs District Council took action today (Wed 12 Aug 09) to clear an illegal encampment at Smithy Fen in Cottenham. The action followed a high court ruling in March 2009 requiring the owners of caravans and other buildings to clear the land.
Local councillors have expressed support for the action. Sue said: ‘When planning issues are not adhered to it is correct that illegal structures are removed. However this action should not be confused with South Cambs’ ongoing consultation on the provision of gypsy and travellers’ sites across the district. It is important that sufficient sites are provided and that these are distributed across the district.’
David agreed and praised the role of local police in carrying out of the action: ‘We are pleased to hear that the clearance was conducted in a calm manner and believe that our local police force was pivotal in ensuring that this was the case.’
Lib Dems have a clear policy which supports the rights of gypsies and travellers and which addresses their needs for easy access to specific sites where they might stay. However they also are clear that gypsies and travellers must act within the law and cases where this is not the case, such as the one which caused the action in Smithy Fen today must be addressed accordingly.