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Travellers group remain at site as bailiff eviction attempt fails

A group of travellers who have set up an unauthorised camp on a private industrial park in Birmingham have yet to be moved on after a stand-off with bailiffs.

An eviction attempt to move the travellers, who are at a unit at the back of Minworth Industrial Park in Forge Lane, Sutton Coldfield, was made on Thursday (September 16) but failed when bailiffs called for police back-up but there were ‘no officers available’. The travellers have been at the site since last weekend.

A new tenant at the unit, which is currently being refitted, is looking to get their business up and running and had organised the bailiffs but to no avail.

Read more : Travellers at industrial park may avoid eviction ‘due to Covid’

An eviction notice had been served on Monday (September 13) asking the travellers site ‘within the hour’.

Walmley and Minworth city councillor, David Barrie, said: “We are trying to do our best but the problem is of course that they are on private land.

“The owners are entitled to take action and they got bailiffs in.

“The bailiffs wanted a police presence when they went to evict the travellers. But the police said they didn’t have the people available unfortunately.

Travellers have set up camp at Minworth Industrial Park in Forge Lane in Sutton Coldfield

Cllr Barrie continued: “We are at the situation that we are trying to persuade the police to move them on.

“If the bailiffs do move them on all they can do is move them from private property to the highway.

“Although this isn’t council land, I have been there to do what I can to get them off that site because it’s a business which is providing jobs in the area.

“Usually the longer you leave it the worse it gets.”

Read more : Travellers evicted from café & shop venue as family raise alert

Asked about whether any of the group had been confirmed as having Covid-19 as they had indicated earlier this week, Cllr Barrie said he did not know.

On the eviction attempt, he added: “I was getting live phone calls from Thursday from both sides. The travellers were expressing their unhappiness that we weren’t doing more for them and that we didn’t care for their welfare.

“I understand the owner has emailed Mr [Andrew] Mitchell [Sutton Coldfield’s MP] in an effort to get the police there.”

A spokeswoman for CBRE, managing agents at Minworth Industrial Park, earlier this week said: “We are working with the relevant authorities to move on those remaining travellers as soon as this is allowed.”

While West Midlands Police on Tuesday (September 14) said: “Travellers moved onto an industrial park off Forge Lane at around 4pm on Sunday (September 12).

“Neighbourhood police officers attended on Monday (September 13) to speak to the travellers. We are not aware of any damage caused. We understand they have now been served notice to move on.”

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