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Council acts swiftly to move on trespassers

Decisive action ensured an unauthorised encampment of caravans was moved on swiftly.

The vehicles were brought onto the Newark Sports and Fitness Centre carpark, off Bowbridge Road, Newark, on Thursday of last Thursday (October 4) and continued to arrive throughout the night.

As required by law, welfare checks were carried out on the occupants of the caravans before they were ordered to vacate the carpark as they had no legal right to be parked on the land, which is owned by Newark and Sherwood District Council and managed by its leisure company, Active4Today.

With the support of the police and with the presence of the council’s appointed bailiffs, the group of trespassers left the site by lunch-time on Friday ­— some of whom left less than 12 hours after they had arrived.

Last month the district council pledged a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bring a halt to unauthorised camps and is undertaking a review of public open spaces to make them harder for trespassers to access with their vehicles.

District council leader David Lloyd said: “Such unauthorised encampments adversely affect the lives of law-abiding local residents and cost the council time and money to deal with.

“The sports and leisure centre facilities and carpark are for those people who have paid to use the facilities there and they should be able to this free of nuisance or harassment.

"Our council officers and Active4Today staff, who were working in difficult circumstances and who were confronted with some aggressive behaviour, acted swiftly to ensure that this camp was moved off the site.

"I would also thank the police for their support in dealing with this.

"Like local residents, I have been frustrated with the recent surge of such unauthorised encampments which are affecting the same communities too regularly and I am pleased that we were able to deal with this one so quickly.”

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