‘Frustration’ at £4.5k bailiffs costs to evict traveller camp from Houghton Regis Green

editorial image

Houghton Regis Town Council was forced to cough up £4,500 on bailiffs to remove travellers from the Village Green, it has emerged.

On Thursday, June 28, travellers were spotted loitering around the green by council workers, looking for an entry point.

Security at the site hadbeen improved extensively with low level bollards and anti-ram bollards at certain access points.

Despite this, travellers damaged three low level bollards and rammed their vehicles into the site.

Town clerk Clare Evans said: “The council were very active in responding to this incursion, the police were called whilst the damage was taking place but were unable to attend before the damage had been done.”

That same day, bailiffs were instructed to serve notice on the travellers, giving them three hours to vacate the land but the notice was ignored.

At 8am the next morning, the bailiffs again attended with Bedfordshire Police and enforced the eviction notice, clearing the site by 1.30pm. The council’s grounds team replaced the bollards and removed the waste left behind.

Ms Evans added: “Despite the best efforts of the council to secure the site, it was disappointing and frustrating that the travellers gained access.

“However, I would like to thank councillors for their efforts in reassuring the community that action was being taken to remove the travellers, the council staff, especially the grounds team, for acting so promptly and professionally and Bedfordshire Police for their support.

“Consideration is now being given as to any additional measures which could be put in place to prevent further incursions.”