Walsall Council set up temporary Traveller camp during coronavirus lockdown

22 April 2020
image to follow

Walsall Council, Birmingham, have set up a temporary Traveller transit site during the coronavirus crisis for Gypsies and Travellers who are living roadside in their area with nowhere else to go.

The move follows lobbying by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups and Romany Gypsy grass roots campaigner Abeline McShane.  

A statement from Walsall Council said that following Government guidance issued on 11th April and liaison with West Midlands Police, a decision had been made to set up a temporary transit site at the Wakes car park in Willenhall. 

“The site will provide a place to which Unauthorised Encampments in the borough will be directed during the COVID 19 Lockdown,” said Walsall Council.

“Current government restrictions on non-essential travel mean the council cannot use the current legislation to evict (Travellers groups) which set up on land in the borough," they added.

"The temporary transit site will be operational from Monday 20 April and restricted solely to those users who are directed to it by the West Midlands Police or Council Officers.

All directed users will be given a notice outlining the terms under which they are permitted to stay.  This permission may be revoked at any time.

The facility will be accessible for the foreseeable future and will be kept under review in line with Government guidance on Covid-19.

Importantly those who are directed there will have access to appropriate sanitation and washing facilities, as former sources of water are now not available.  By staying within a contained site, together with such sanitation and washing facilities, these measures will help prevent the spread of COVID 19”

TT News