Cllrs Manish Verma and Shazna Muzammil hail ‘a significant victory for residents but much more to do’ after Milton Keynes City Council confirm they will sign the Thames Valley and Local Authority Joint Protocol for dealing with Unauthorised Encampments.
Cllrs Verma and Muzammil, ward members for Tattenhoe, launched a campaign last month urging MKCC to take more substantial action against unauthorised encampments following numerous incidents in communities throughout their ward.
Milton Keynes had been one of just three councils across Thames Valley Police’s area that had failed to sign the joint protocol before Cllr Muzammil and Cllr Verma’s intervention.
Their petition, which has now reached over 600 signatures, asked MKCC to commit to seeking sustainable solutions, such as dedicated alternative sites for encampments, stronger physical barriers to redways and to finally commit to the Joint Protocol with Thames Valley Police.
Cllr Manish Verma stated “I am glad that MKCC have acted upon our campaign and agreed to sign up to the Joint Protocol, ensuring as a Council we work as closely as possible with Thames Valley Police to tackle unauthorised encampments in our communities. This is a significant victory for our residents who have continuously fought alongside us for more action and supported our campaign”.
Cllr Muzammil added “Whilst it is great news that MKCC have listened and committed to the Joint Protocol, there is still far more to be done. We will continue to represent our residents and put pressure on the Administration to seek sustainable long-term solutions such as dedicated sites for the traveller community and to introduce stronger barriers to our redways to deter encampments”.