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Travellers Arrive on Bills Lane, Formby: Residents Brace for Potential Repeat of 2016 Disruption

UPDATE 12th June:

Cllr Nina Killen said: "Council officers will begin the process immediately for the removal of caravans and vehicles from Bills Lane. Cllrs have been asked to be kept informed. We have previously explored putting a retractable post at the entrance of the lane with a key for residents' access however at the time this was not popular with the residents as they felt the inconvenience of the post outweighed the benefit, considering there was little history of encampments on the site. We can revisit this if residents would like us to do this."


Travellers have set up camp on Bills Lane in Formby today, Tuesday 11th June, reigniting concerns among local residents who recall the disruption caused during the last encampment in August 2016. The previous visit left a lasting negative impression, marked by significant mess, scorched grass from fires, heaps of rubbish, and even human excrement. The local community endured late-night parties, loud noise, shouting, and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

In response to this new encampment, Sefton Council will issue a Section 77 Notice under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 hopefully tomorrow. This notice mandates that the Travellers must vacate the site within three days.

The eviction proceedings, which include a welfare visit to assess any immediate needs of the Travellers will include a legal representative from the council who will seek a signed summons from the court, which will be served to the Travellers the same day. This summons will notify the Travellers of a court date where the council will seek a removal order. If granted, the council will then arrange for the Travellers to be removed, a process that could take a week or more.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council commented on the situation last time:

"Sefton Council provide a permanent site for Gypsies and Travellers in Sefton. The site is located at Red Rose Park, Broad Lane, Formby L37 0AH. We do not provide a transit site for Gypsies and Travellers moving through the borough seeking a short stay. As a result, this can lead to unauthorised encampments. We have an Unauthorised Encampment Policy to manage these encampments in a way that addresses both the support needs of the Gypsies and Travellers and the rights of the settled community."

In this instance, Sefton Council, as the landowner, is bound by legal processes to move the Travellers. If the Travellers do not leave following the Section 77 Notice, the council must obtain a signed summons from the court, informing the Travellers of a court date where the council will seek a removal order. Upon obtaining this order, the council can arrange for the Travellers to be removed if they have not already left.

Residents have expressed their frustration over the situation, particularly concerning the potential for anti-social behaviour. They are urged to report any such incidents to the police promptly.

Local resident shared his concerns:

"The last time they were here, it was a nightmare. We had sleepless nights and the mess they left behind was horrendous. I just hope this time they'll respect our community and not repeat the past."

As the situation develops, the Formby Bubble will continue to provide updates. The community hopes for a peaceful resolution and that the Travellers will respect the area and avoid the issues experienced in 2016.





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