More than 100 illegal traveller encampments have been reported in Hyndburn over the past five years, the Observer can reveal.
The encampments totalled at least 261 vehicles with 11 legal notices and four court orders being issued to move some of them on.
On four occasions Lancashire Police were called and 30 other incidents were referred to Lancashire County Council as it involved highways land.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said Hyndburn is ‘sharing more of the burden’ in accommodating travellers and called on other councils to take their share.
The admission comes after council bosses received a report on Wednesday, October 22 which recommended that an additional 19 traveller pitches would have to be created in the next four years.
Hyndburn currently has 13 authorised sites which together have a total of 98 pitches of which 57 were occupied.
There are also two unauthorised sites at Moss Lane and Sough lane which have eight pitches of which six were occupied.
This makes Hyndburn the second highest provider of traveller accommodation in East Lancashire.
Coun Miles Parkinson said: “We have numerous sites for travellers unlike other councils across the North West.
“Hyndburn has given more than its fair share of sites and there’s no need to go on sites that aren’t correctly licensed or have planning permission.
“It’s unfortunate that Hyndburn is sharing more of the burden and other councils aren’t setting aside sites for travellers to stop them failing to abide with the law.
“Others need to start putting a quota instead of just expecting Hyndburn Council to do everything.”
Figures released to the Observer by the council under a Freedom of Information request show how that the period between April 2012 and March 2013 saw the highest number of reported incidents, with 29 illegal encampments involving 78 vehicles.
Last year there were nine incidents involving 35 vehicles, including three in Church and one at The Coppice.
In 2009/10 court orders were served on encampments at Blackburn Road and Dale Street in Accrington and two camps were moved on by police.
Coun Parkinson said the cost of cleaning up after the illegal travellers is ‘totally unacceptable’ on the taxpayer.
He said: “Over the years we have done our utmost at stopping travellers going on public land by investing in bunding and fencing. We have a strong record on serving enforcement notices and have advised private owners how to make their land secure.
“We are a lot more pro-active because it costs the ratepayers money to clear up the faces and rubbish and other ancillaries left behind which is totally unacceptable.”
Tory councillor Peter Britcliffe said the borough has ‘more than its fair share’ of traveller sites.
He said: “There are more official sites here than in the whole of Cumbria and it’s time that other authorities pull their weight and relieve the burden.
“We need to encourage those travellers who come in to use the official sites. There are a lot of costs to the council in cleaning up after they leave and the time needed to deal with it.”
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