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Authorising expenditure to move travellers off Council land.

0 votes
Our Parish Council recently engaged Bailiffs to move a small Traveller encampment off Parish Council land. Authority to engage the Bailiffs seems only to have involved the Clerk and Chair and the move was rather hasty as the group were attending a baptism locally and had not caused any damage on the previous site they were moved on from. There are no local transit sites and FB gossip implied some support for the Travellers to remain, more or less balanced against the usual prejudice.. The expenditure to engage Bailiffs does not seem to be within the remit of Clerk/Councillors alone (as there was no damage nor threat of damage) and the haste of the action implies prejudice. Is this cause for a complaint against the Council or the individuals?
by (440 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
As the incursion was illegal, the matter should have been reported to the council's insurers, who would have advised you how to proceed. There is no specific emergency power in this regard in the legislation.
by (35.2k points)
+2 votes
The basic here is whether the PC can justify the spending of such monies to the community. Whether it came within procedures laid down by the council for authorisation and by whom is for the council to decide. There could be emergency powers granted to clerk and chair to cover such eventualities especially if the community has an ongoing problem with unauthorised encampments.

In authorising such costs ( by whatever method allowed) the council has a duty of care to assess the impact or possible impact on the community from such an encampment on their land. If, as it appears this was a short term use of the land by a group who are respectful of the land then it would be difficult to justify spending taxpayers money in removing what was not ( or appeared not) to be a threat to the community or the land.

PC's are not there to follow "gut reactions" but to assess situations and take appropriate actions on behalf of the community they are elected to serve.
by (12.2k points)

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