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News Report Page 9 of 14
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Travellers have set up an illegal camp on Nature Reserve Car Park

LIFEBOAT Road Car Park is run by the National Trust and is within 1 of Merseyside's most beautiful locations and is an international Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The charity has only recently taken over the management of the land, after Sefton Council was forced to hand it over, due to lack of funds.  The area hosts many rare species of fauna or flora, and as a result it attracts visitors from all over the world.  Sadly, the dozen caravans and other vehicles that have pitched up at a car park in the late evening of 18 Jun 2019 are not the type they Trust wants. As the group moved in quickly on to the site, they shouted abuse at locals and set up their illegal camp.

Last  year a group also did the same and frustration from locals has been expressed about the situation happening again. A spokeswoman from Merseyside Police said:- "This was a civil matter between the land owners and the travellers" so it will mean that the charity had to 'waste funds' starting to taking legal action to have them moved on. The trust said that it always does what it can to seek the removal of the travellers from its sites, nationally and preventing them from setting up unauthorised encampments.

Formby already has a site located at:- Red Rose Park, Broad Lane, Formby, L37 0AH, for Gypsies and Travellers in Sefton, but the lack of authorised sites and pitches at a national level has lead to a national increase of incidents like this, since 2004.  Dealing with an unauthorised gypsy or traveller can result in extremely high enforcement and clean up costs for land owners, like the National Trust.

In 2012, the Government introduced a new offence of squatting in residential buildings, but also said it had no plans to criminalise any other forms of trespass. In 2018,however, the UK Government then published a consultation on powers to deal with unauthorised development and encampments.  As a result the Home Office has since announced plans to increase Police powers to evict and to criminalise trespass. But will criminalising only aggravate the issues not just locally, but nationally?

We would love to hear your views and thoughts about this issue of unauthorised encampments. Please email us to- News24@SouthportReporter.Com with your thoughts on the very emotive topic.

Green light to build new Council homes - 150 years on from the 1st

Pioneering: St Martin’s Cottages – the 1st Council houses in Europe – which were built in Vauxhall, north Liverpool, in 1869 and demolished in 1977.

LIVERPOOL the City which built the 1st Council Houses in Europe 150 years ago; has been given the green light to construct a new generation of Local Authority Homes for the 21st Century. The Government has confirmed that the Local Authority can build properties after confirming that it will not need the Council to repay the housing debt of ₤735 million that was written off when the City Council transferred the last of its stock to housing associations in the late 2000's.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson; who grew up in a Council property, at Kent Gardens, near the City Centre - said:- "Liverpool pioneered public sector housing and my formative years were spent growing up in a Council tenement, so I am extremely proud that, 150 years on from the City leading the way on social properties, we are now able to do so again. Buying is not for everyone, so it is important that we do what we can to help people in every situation to get the home they deserve, and we need to rebalance the City's housing market with a wider choice of the homes that people need. That is why I have pledged that we will build 10,000 houses, and I want a proportion of them to be Council homes for people to rent.  Affordable, social, properties are desperately needed to make sure nobody is left behind and that is why housing is an integral part of our Inclusive Growth Plan. I am really excited that we will be able to build new houses for the 1st time in more than three decades; in my view they can't be built fast enough."

In a letter to Mayor Joe Anderson, the Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse, writes that he is "Pleased to see the ambition and enthusiasm of a City, such as Liverpool, in engaging with the urgent process of delivering the new homes that this country needs. We removed the borrowing caps on the housing revenue account in the Autumn Budget to free up ambitious authorities to begin building again."

Shadow Secretary for Housing, John Healey MP, said:- "Liverpool is at the sharp end of the housing crisis. Everyone knows someone who can't get the home they need, or aspire to. I'm glad to see a City like Liverpool able to build much needed new Council Houses made possible by the lifting of the HRA borrowing cap which we have long wanted to see."

The announcement marks a return to house building for the Local Authority which, in 1869, embarked on constructing the 1st Council Housing, in Europe, to tackle issues with sanitation and poor health.  St Martin's Cottages on Ashfield Street in Vauxhall, were tenements and survived until 1977 when they were demolished. The 1st properties to form part of the Council's Housing Scheme will be a small number of properties that have been refurbished on Webster Road, in Picton.  The Council is now working up further plans for an initial phase of houses, which will contribute to the City's need to develop 30,000 new homes by 2030.

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