Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Contact: Martin Elliott  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary or Personal Interests and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests.


There were no declarations of interest.


To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 31 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 148 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 31 July 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Scrutiny Consideration of Unauthorised Encampment Protocol pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Additional documents:


The 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.


The 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.


The 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.


The 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.


The 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.


The 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 unauthorised encampments.


The 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 site.


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.