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 held on 13 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 134 KB



That the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2018, be received and approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Scrutiny Consideration of Unauthorised Encampment Protocol pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:


Pursuant to Minute No. SA.10 (2018/19) the Service Manager, Strategic Housing and Lettings and the Senior Environmental Health Officer attended the meeting to provide further information on the draft Unauthorised Encampment Policy as requested by the Panel at the meeting held on 13 November 2018.


The Scrutiny Research and Support Officer had submitted a report that provided the further information regarding unauthorised encampments that the Panel had requested, including:


·         The number of unauthorised encampments in Ashfield in recent years

·         Evidence of sufficient allocated Traveller sites within Ashfield

·         Information on costs associated with unauthorised encampments under the existing protocol

·         Estimations on potential costs associated with unauthorised encampments under the proposed new draft protocol

·         Further information on the actions taken by the Council in the event of an unauthorised encampment on Council and/or privately owned land


The draft Unauthorised Encampment Protocoland the Ashfield Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (October 2015) were attached as appendices to the officer’s report. The Senior Environmental Health Officer provided details of the number of unauthorised encampments on both Council owned and private land over recent years and also provided information on how this data had been collected and recorded.


Panel Members were informed that while the actual numbers of unauthorised encampments in Ashfield did seem lower than the number of encampments that residents perceived there had been, this could be due to the very high profile nature and media coverage of a small number of encampments, as well as encampments that had been set up near to the boundaries of Ashfield in local authority areas such as Gedling and Mansfield.


The Senior Environmental Health Officer also advised that there had been an increase in the number of unauthorised encampments county wide which may have led to the perception of higher numbers on encampments in Ashfield than the actual recorded figures showed.


The Service Manager, Strategic Housing and Lettings provided information on the procedures that officer’s followed when an unauthorised encampment was reported and went through a summary of the steps that would be taken, and the approximate timescales for regaining possession of land under the proposed Unauthorised Encampment Protocol. Members were reassured that while the proposed Protocol detailed the legal steps that could be taken, that negotiation with the occupiers would continue to be used in parallel with any required and appropriate legal action.


During the discussion Members queried the potential costs that could be incurred by the Council in operating the proposed Protocol. The Service Manager advised that while the revised protocol could potentially result in fewer visits by officers to the sites of unauthorised encampments the cost of administering and utilising legal procedures at an earlier stage in the process would mean that the proposed Protocol could potentially incur increased costs for the Council.


The Panel were informed that under the proposed protocol, negotiation with the occupiers of unauthorised encampments would still be carried out on a daily basis as it was an essential tool in dealing with the encampments to ensure action was being  ...  view the full minutes text for item SA.13