Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Contact: Martin Elliott
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests.
There were no declarations of
To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 31 July 2018 PDF 148 KB
The Minutes of the meeting held
on 31 July 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the
Scrutiny Consideration of Unauthorised Encampment Protocol PDF 121 KB
Service Manager, Strategic Housing and Lettings attended the
meeting to present the draft Unauthorised Encampment Protocol in
order to enable members to comment and consider areas for
improvement as well as to enable members to consider the potential
impact of the draft Protocol on local communities in Ashfield,
travellers and other stakeholders.
Scrutiny Research and Support Officer had submitted a report which
provided background information on unauthorised encampments, the
issues that they created for communities and local authorities and
the powers that local authorities had to deal with unauthorised
encampments. The report also included information on unauthorised
encampments in Ashfield and how they were currently dealt with. The
draft Unauthorised Encampment Protocolwas attached as an appendix
to the officer’s report.
Service Manager, Strategic Housing and Lettings advised that during
the summer of 2018 there had been a series of high profile
unauthorised encampments which had led to concerns being raised
about the length of time that the current processes for dealing
with them had taken. The Service Manager advised that consequently
there had been a need identified for the current processes to be
reviewed in order to expedite the procedures to enable unauthorised
encampments to be dealt with more swiftly in future.
Service Manager provided information on the current procedure for
dealing with unauthorised encampments, noting that the entire
process could take a total of two weeks from initiating actions to
the site being cleared.
Panel was advised that the proposed new protocol would enable the
timelines to be reduced in order to enable unauthorised encampments
to be moved on sooner, but did note that some aspects of the
protocol were outside of the Council’s control, such as the
availability of court hearing dates.
Service Manager advised that there were risks in the new protocol
in that timelines could be negatively impacted by slippage and that
the Council could incur increased costs by utilising bailiffs more
frequently and/or at an earlier point in the process than was the
case under current procedures.
Members were reassured that negotiation would still play a major
part in the proposed protocol in how the Council worked clear
unauthorised encampments and noted that negotiation was often a
very effective tool in getting unauthorised encampments cleared. It
was acknowledged that the proposed procedure, with its emphasis on
court orders and the use of bailiffs, did have the potential to
possibly increase tension and conflict with the occupiers of
Service Manager outlined in detail the processes involved in the
proposed protocol and noted that the revised procedures could
potentially enable unauthorised encampments to be moved on in a
period of two or three days from the initiation of procedures. The
Panel was also provided with information and examples of how
negotiation with the occupiers of unauthorised encampments had
successfully led to the occupants vacating the unauthorised
Members also noted their concerns about the financial impact of
the proposed new protocol and asked how much the unauthorised
view the full minutes text for item 10.