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This is a Press release from Elmbidge Borough Council:-
Elmbridge Borough Council has been granted a protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land.
The three-month injunction, granted at the High Court this week (Thursday 16 August), covers more than 150 of the borough’s parks, open spaces and car parks.
The Council evidenced large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income and the large increase in the number and size of recent encampments as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.
This year has seen an unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size.
The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land and/or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering, or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.
Leader of the Council Tim Oliver said: “I am delighted that the painstaking work undertaken by Officers and Members of the Council to collect evidence has enabled us to make a case for an extensive ban on unauthorised encampments and that the Court has given its backing to the Council. In doing so the injunction will bring huge relief to our residents and local businesses who have experienced unprecedented and wholly unreasonable disruption throughout the summer. We will now carry on with the work we are doing to review the security of all of our open sites so that our communities can enjoy their surroundings, whilst continuing to closely monitor any illegal activity across the Borough.”
Superintendent Andy Rundle said: “We understand the concerns and the impact on local communities in relation to allegations of criminality and anti-social behaviour associated with some of the recent encampments. When there is criminality of any sort, regardless of who is involved, we will respond and take action.
“It is important to understand that Police powers are very specific and prescribed and do not cover civil issues, which we know can sometimes be frustrating and confusing for our communities.
“However, in relation to recent events, we are now hopeful that with this injunction in place we can respond proactively to the concerns of local residents and reduce the negative impact of unauthorised encampments upon the local community.”
The following email/letter was sent to our members from CDRA Chairman Sue Kilpatrick in May 2018. Following this, several thousand flyers asking for local people to get actively involved were delivered to homes in our area during June. We are pleased to tell you that we have had an encouraging response to the flyer. Several people have got in touch with us expressing an interest and we have arranged a get together on August 16th to discuss their possible future involvement with those who are free to attend on that day.
Dear CDRA Member
I am writing to let you know that I will not be seeking re-election as Chairman and Committee Member of the CDRA at the AGM in 2019. Sandy Brook, our hard-working Secretary, will be retiring at the same time and she will be very greatly missed.
The CDRA started in the early 1950s. It has been and still is a voluntary organisation which has sought the best for Cobham residents, not only on planning matters but also environment, infrastructure, highways, medical services, liaison with the police and many other facets of life in our area. Its achievements over the years have been considerable. Our relationships with both Surrey County Council and Elmbridge Borough Council are ones which, in our view, have benefited all of us.
I have been on the CDRA Committee since 1991, for the majority of that time as your Chairman and I have thoroughly enjoyed the role. However, I believe the time has come for me to retire and hand over the reins.
The Association needs not only to maintain its membership but to increase it and to have Committee Members who are able and willing to play an active part. WE NEED TO FIND A NEW CHAIRMAN, SECRETARY AND MORE COMMITTEE MEMBERS WITH THE ENTHUSIASM AND TIME TO WORK WITH COUNCILS AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS TO ACHIEVE THE VERY BEST ON BEHALF OF LOCAL RESIDENTS. Currently, some of us are taking on more than one role. For example, I look after Planning and Sandy looks after the website and part of the Newsletter. There are people with very varied skills amongst local residents and we would like to tap into them. It might be PR, it might be IT, or it might be the art of negotiation – the list is endless!
Sandy and I want to retire, knowing that we are leaving the Association in good hands and with a good and thriving future.
We are in the process of drafting a leaflet for distribution to residents of Cobham & Downside, asking those who are interested in taking an active part to get in touch with us.
I am grateful for all the time and effort devoted to the CDRA by present and past Committee Members and all of us will continue to do our best during the coming year to ensure that the Association thrives. However, by giving you this information now, we hope those who feel they can contribute will come forward as soon as possible. We need volunteers now in order to prepare in good time for the future
I look forward to hearing from you.
Sue Kilpatrick OBE
Chairman, Cobham and Downside Residents’ Association