taxpayers foot £5,000 bill for moving travellers in Burnham
of pounds has been spent by Sedgemoor District Council on moving
groups of travellers from various locations in the Burnham-On-Sea
area this summer, it has been confirmed this week.
of travellers have set up camps in Burnham's Pier Street car park,
the Esplanade, the BASC Ground, and Berrow Village Green in recent
weeks, prompting costly legal action to be taken in each case.
District Council estimates it has spent over £5,000 on moving
the travellers on during the past three months.
spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We do respect
people who have a travelling lifestyle, but we also have to consider
costs are difficult to quantify because each instance is different,
but it does cost us £400 in legal costs each time we begin
formal action, regardless of whether the travellers move on before
it goes to court."
are also 'people costs' involved since our team visit the travellers,
go to the court and raise the paperwork."
Town Centre Manager Beverley Milner Simonds said this week she'd
like to see a long-term solution found.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Burnham-On-Sea is not alone in
struggling to balance the needs of Gypsies and Travellers and
that of residents in more conventional homes. I hope that my colleagues
in the District Council can assist us finding a lasting solution
that works for everyone."
Heappey, the area's MP, told Burnham-On-Sea.com earlier this week
that he has various discussions underway to push for more to be
done to help local authorities tackle the problem. "I fully
sympathise with local councils and residents," he said.
Travellers in Burnham's Pier Street car park last week and, above,
at the BASC sports ground last month