MORE than £40,000 has been spent dealing with illegal traveller encampments in Warwick district over the past 18 months.
Warwick District Council has spent some £42,000 on moving and cleaning up 50 illegal encampments.
During this time travellers stopped on Newbold Comyn eight times, Tapping Way five times, and pitched up at Myton Fields on four occasions.
Some £13,000 of the money paid for council time dealing with the traveller encampments, including site visits, writing reports, serving notices and attending court hearing.
The same amount was spent on repairs to land where damage had been caused and where improvements needed to be made in a bid to keep travellers out.
An additional £10,000 went on legal costs and £5,600 on cleaning.
At Myton Fields some £5,000 was spent installing barriers, which came out of a budget to improve security across the district’s parks and green spaces.
The council is working to make land less accessible for illegal encampments.
A spokesman told the Observer: “Warwick District Council is committed to ensuring the safety of our parks and open spaces. Last July the council agreed to a programme of works to enhance security and decrease vehicle accessibility in our public areas following consultation with residents in affected areas. This work included the installation of bollards, height restrictors, lockable gates and trip rails.”
And Labour group leader Kristie Naimo says more needs to be done to minimise the cost of the clean-up operation.
She said: “This is a shocking figure. The council need to consider providing toilets and skips when these illegal encampments take place which could minimise the waste clearance required.
“The councils also need to look more proactively at long term solutions – as many of us have been asking for a long time.”
The council will soon by law have to provide 31 permanent pitches and six to eight transit pitches for gypsies and travellers.