Unauthorised Encampments Memorandum of Understanding
1. 1. Context
1.1 Buckinghamshire experiences regular unauthorised encampments (UAE), which can cause tensions within local communities if not managed appropriately. They can also be expensive and time-consuming to clear. Whilst there are a range of powers available to local authorities, landowners, and the police to tackle encampments, it is not always clear which authority should lead and which powers are most effective. As a result, there is a risk of a perception of inconsistency in response and poor communication between local communities and statutory bodies within Buckinghamshire.
1.2 Additionally, during 2017, Buckinghamshire was targeted by groups of travellers undertaking organised waste crime, which is being investigated at a regional level by the Environment Agency and has significant implications at a local level. The response to these incidences will be most effective where it is co-ordinated and where communication and information sharing is effective.
1.3 This document provides details of the agreed approach between the signatories to managing UAEs, including details about who is the lead authority in specific circumstances and which powers are available to them. It will set out the processes that will be followed for a broad range of encampments, clarify roles and responsibilities and will provide the basis for communication to local communities and interested parties.