UPDATE ON ILLEGAL TRAVELLER ENCAMPMENT – BEDQUILTS

I have now received two responses from Leeds City Council, one from the Police and one from Leeds Met. University.

You will also note that the Police are of the view that there has been no increased  crime and disorder in the area, I am concerned that this is their  view as a number of residents have been in touch with me about a number of incidents. If you are aware of any problems or issues or concerns can you please phone 101 so that they can be recorded otherwise they will not be counted and they may not continue with the level of patrols.

 1.From the Head of Housing Support at Leeds City Council

“The Travellers are predominantly camped on land owned by Leeds Met.  It is therefore the University’s responsibility to evict these trespassers. They are in court on Thursday.  There is one family camped on Council owned land. The possession action taken by Leeds Met will not cover the trespass on Council owned land and therefore we have to take separate possession action.

There is a high likelihood that the Travellers evicted from Leeds Met land will just move onto the Council land. It therefore makes sense for us to take possession action immediately after Leeds Met because it can then cover any further people who trespass onto our land.

Secondly, if we go to court before Leeds Met then our possession order will just cover the one family and, if others move onto Council land after a Leeds Met eviction, we will have to go to court again.

We have made a decision to seek possession and hope to be in court on Friday morning.

I understand there has been some tipping on the site and we will speak to the Locality Team to look at this issue.”

 2. From the Police

“The Leeds Met lawyers are currently seeking an injunction. I haven’t been able to firm up on this but I suspect that they are waiting to get a hearing, it’s often not that easy as the courts are often busy. We will continue to monitor and there has been no increase in crime and disorder in the area, which is some consolation. I hope to have more information tomorrow.”

3. From Kerrie Murray, the Gypsy and Traveller Services Manager at Leeds City Council:

“We have a court date for the above encampment on Friday, we would be planning for an immediate eviction.

Leeds Met are in court on Thursday but have yet to plan an eviction date/time.

Due to this I have approached Leeds Met to agree a joint eviction on the Friday rather than have the group moving between locations or a drawn out eviction from Leeds Met land.

I have met with the Locality Team today they are actively monitoring the site and will be placing camera’s up for surveillance.

I will keep everyone updated.”

4. From Leeds Met University

“As you may know half of the land affected belongs to us and half to the council.  We are in court on Thursday and the council are in court on Friday.  We are looking at a potential joint eviction on Friday following both hearings, as if we try to evict on Thursday the travellers are likely to just “move over” onto the adjacent council land.  Our security team are visiting the site frequently to monitor the situation in the meantime.

Rest assured we are dealing with this as quickly as we can and will keep you informed as things progress.”