October 30, 2019 10.19 am This story is over 53 months old

North East Lincolnshire council’s £84,000 travellers clean-up costs

The figures have been released as part of a report on five proposed new sites.

More than £84,000 has been spent clearing up unauthorised travellers sites by North East Lincolnshire Council since 2013.

The figure has been revealed in documents to go before the authority’s scrutiny committee and cabinet next week.

Councillors will be asked to agree to take a shortlist of five proposed temporary designated stopping places for travellers to public consultation.

A list of financial costs since April 1, 2013, shows that more than £84,022 has been spent clearing and visiting sites as well as legal costs – though the first three years of the latter are not included in the figures.

Caravans on the playing field area of King George V Stadium, in Grimsby, in a previous pitch-up. Photo: Spotted Grimsby

The five sites proposed, cut down from a 25-site list, are:

  • Former youth club on Wootton Road, Nunsthorpe
  • Torksey Drive and Toynton Road site, off Winchester Avenue
  • Land under the Cleethorpe Road flyover
  • Garibaldi Street car park
  • The car park off Wellington Street

North East Lincolnshire Council is legally required to provide a designated stopping place for the gypsy and traveller communities.

It already has two permanent sites and has identified a need for a temporary site of at least five pitches – though is aiming for 15 to accommodate “larger and multiple” groups of visitors.

However, the shortlist has already caused uproar among nearby residents, some of whom have threatened “World War Three” if their area is chosen.

Angry residents at a recent meeting in the Nunsthorpe Estate. Photo: Daniel Jaines

The documents next week also lay out the potential £8,260 annual costs of providing the site going forward.

The authority says that if the site was used 15 times a year it could, for example cost £4,050 to deliver and empty bins on the site, while the hire of porta-loos could cost £1,560 and security costs – including locking and unlocking the gates – would equate to £1,500 a year. Costs, however, would vary depending on numbers.

The council will need to spend minimum of £20,000 to prepare for the planning application for stopping place itself, while more than £11,700 will be needed to develop the site itself.

The report before councillors next week however, says: “It is anticipated that the investment in a designated stopping place for Gypsies and Travellers will deliver ongoing revenue savings for the Council.

“The revenue costs of operating a site compare favourably to the current costs of managing unauthorised encampments.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.