New powers to order travellers out of Brighton and Hove parks face legal challenge

Posted On 14 Jul 2016 at 8:02 pm

New powers to order travellers out of Brighton and Hove parks could face a legal challenge, councillors were warned this afternoon (Thursday 14 July).

The warning came from Emma Nuttall, advice manager from Friends, Families and Travellers, who addressed a meeting of members and officials from Brighton and Hove City Council.

She spoke as the council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee met at the Friends’ Meeting House where they agreed to make a “public spaces protection order” (PSPO).

The orders are intended to tackle persistent or continuous and unreasonable anti-social behaviour.

She told the meeting: “The use of the PSPO as a mechanism for addressing the issue of unauthorised encampments in Brighton and Hove is inappropriate, unreasonable, unnecessary (and) contrary to article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

She said that imposing the orders on the 12 sites would lead to unauthorised encampments more frequently elsewhere in Brighton and Hove.

And she added: “We understand that Sussex Police are concerned about their capacity to enforce these proposals.

Travellers Stanmer Park 20140618 cropped

“PSPOs were never designed to be used on unauthorised encampments. The guidance contains references to alcohol, dogs and noise but no reference to unauthorised encampments.”

She said that unauthorised encampments were happening because of a lack of authorised sites and the increasing closure of traditional stopping places.

Despite the new permanent travellers site expected to open at Horsdean this month and the reopening of the refurbished transit site for travellers, there was still a shortage of local pitches.

She also said that no other council in the country had used these powers against gypsies and travellers, adding: “You would be potentially setting a precedent for the rest of the country which we would be very keen to stop.”

She said that the council could face “strategic litigation” and she said: “It would undoubtedly lead to a legal challenge. At a time of budget cuts, is this something that you really want to do? In your report you have noted the prospect of a judicial review.”

The committee nonetheless agreed by eight votes to two to make an order covering 12 sites in Brighton and Hove.

The 12 sites are

  • The Greenway next to the railway in the New England Quarter
  • Hollingbury Park
  • Lawn Memorial Cemetery and adjacent land in Woodingdean
  • Preston Park
  • Rottingdean Recreation Ground
  • The seafront including the A259 from Black Rock to Hove Lagoon
  • Sheepcote Valley and East Brighton Park
  • St Helen’s Green
  • Stanmer Park
  • Surrenden Field
  • Waterhall
  • Wild Park
  1. Rolivan Reply

    The travellers could always use the Caravan Club site at East Brighton,however most of them eithet do not want to pay or abode by rules.

  2. Peter Reply

    Thank goodness that our elected representatives have listened to residents and taken steps to rid our city of this blight, well done! Emma Nuttall needs a reality check and appreciate that we should not have to fund a lifestyle choice of a minority groups who show no respect for us or our public open spaces.

    • dazzle Reply

      peter, I think you shouold look into history books and check into reality yourself when making such ridiculous and unfounded statements on comment boards!

      the travelling community were persecuted alongside other ‘minority groups’ as you put it during WWII, the period known as ‘Porajmos Pharrajimos’ (cutting up and destruction) to romany people..

      so post WWII it was declared that ALL nations had a duty to protect the romany/other minority ‘traveller’ groups from future persecution (but it seems youre of the stance or position thats into continuing it?).

      Just because anothers way of life is different from your short sighted, myopic, bigoted, xenophobic ways, dont go spouting it out on pages meant for civil discussion/debate.

      and YOU ARE NOT funding anything, your taxes (one assumes you pay income tax/council tax/VAT etc etc) does not feature or is used directly to fund local authority actions, remember all authorities act within the LAW, you know the LAW you probably harp on about others abusing…

      Now go and make a nice cup of tea and let your anger pass.. take a deep breath (not whilst drinking your tea mind!) and just get on with your own life.. if indeed one has a life to lead…

      I thank you

      • Peter Reply

        Oh dear Dazzle (Emma maybe?), seems you’re the one who needs to take a breath, calm down and stop resorting to personal attacks and sarcasm on somebody who you don’t even know.

        I do pay a lot of tax as it happens some of which will go towards clearing up, seeking and obtaining possession orders, constructing a transit camps, etc. etc., how else do you imagine government and local authorities generate income?

        Travellers, in my personal experience, do not seek to endear
        themselves to residents, rather they seek to alienate them selves so they seem content to continue the self fulfilling prophecy. They will never be welcomed anywhere all the while they force entry and leave waste and destruction in their paths. And you excuse this behaviour because of history or heritage even maybe?

        So I am not angry, I am fed up with people taking over our public spaces, intimidating people who I know and leaving a mess and despite your protestations, I am certainly not in the minority here.

        By the way, where do travellers go in the winter?

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