Statement from the Leader of the Council
13 October 2015
Cllr Neil Moore has made the following statement about the Council's ongoing work to end the unauthorised occupation of the Nell's Point car park at Barry Island
“As the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council I want to hit back at criticism from the local MP and his political colleague, who have made various claims about the travellers who have encamped on the car park at Nell’s Point on Barry island.
“According to the MP and the Assembly hopeful they have contacted the Council and have been pressing us to do something about the travellers on the island. They have done no such thing, apart from talking to an officer who was already on site on Friday. They have simply spearheaded a Facebook and Twitter campaign making these false claims about the action being taken. Nothing more. They have no responsibility for this issue and have simply sought to stir things up for their own political gain. They should be ashamed of their actions.
“There have been suggestions that the council is a soft touch and that we were going to give the group, more time before taking action. Such comments are mischievous and irresponsible and could not be further from the truth.
“As a matter of ‘fact’, Council officers along with the police were on site early on Friday morning after the travellers arrived during Thursday night. We secured the site and repaired any damage caused to the gate and prevented any further travellers entering the site on Friday morning. The normal legal processes were then followed, an assessment was made of the situation, and the travellers were asked to leave. The travellers were given until 10 am today (Tuesday) to leave voluntarily. They were informed that unless they left by that time, legal proceedings would be instigated and that is exactly what has happened. We have carried out the procedures to the letter of the law and done so as quickly as is possible.
“Therefore, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has today (Tuesday 13 October), once the 10am deadline had expired, sent the Council’s legal team to file papers with Cardiff Civil Justice Centre to request a hearing for possession of the land. The travellers have now been served a legal notice to leave the site. As part of the request to the Court, the Council also successfully petitioned the judge to have the hearing brought forward to Wednesday 14 October so that the matter can be brought to the swiftest possible conclusion.
“I would emphasise that from the moment the Council was first alerted to this unauthorised encampment we have done everything within our power to move matters forward as fast as possible. All of the preparations for legal action were made in advance of the 10am deadline and as soon as it became apparent that the travellers were not going to vacate the car park, a member of our legal services team went immediately to the court in Cardiff to file the papers.”
“We have taken the swiftest possible action to end this unauthorised occupation and will continue to work our way through the legal processes that we are required to follow as quickly as the law allows.”