Coppice Farm -Travellers Leave Illegal Encampment

On Thursday night the 9th July the Travellers incursion of the Coppice Farm Open Space came to an end, 24 hours after it had started. They left the site with the support of West Midlands Police, and City of Wolverhampton Bailiffs working in partnership.

So How did it all start?
On Wednesday Night 8th July 2020 about 9.10pm residents phoned me to tell me that the Travellers were making their way across the playing fields and across the Borough Boundary from Walsall, to strike up an illegal encampment on Public Open Space on land in the City of Wolverhampton.

This caused much concern amongst residents.

Wednesfield North Councillors Rita Potter, Mary Bateman and myself, had some quick telephone conversations. We decided that the best approach would be to first of all use my Social Media Sites to set up a way of communicating with residents. So that they got first hand information as to what was happening.

By 10.00pm the Police had been spoken with, and the Out of Hours Emergency team at the City of Wolverhampton had been fully briefed. I went to bed confident that as much had been done as could have been done. Our first Social media notice had been published and that went down well with residents who had read it.

On Thursday Morning before 11.00am, Mary and I had visited the Coppice Farm Open Space. It was a wet miserable morning and we set our morning message on Social Media. This is what we communicated. “I can now inform you that The Bailiffs are visiting the site this morning .When I receive further information from them I will post again.” We told you that “Mary and I took the time to speak with residents, walkers, and home owners, whilst we were on site.It appears the night passed off without incident.” then we promised to “continue to update residents as the information comes in.”

That decision to use Social Media was perhaps the best decision made!

Come Thursday there was much activity. I had spoken with a Walsall Councillor during the day, City Officials on numerous occasions, and answered as Mary and Rita did, telephone questions from residents. Come the evening and by 6.30pm I was informing Residents via Social Media that ” Coppice Farm Open Space is very grey quiet and wet. The Travellers have vacated the site! My thanks go to City of Wolverhampton officials the Bailiffs and West Midlands Police, all working together, persuaded the Travellers to move their illegal camp site off of the much used Open Space.
I have been up on site tonight and also spoken with residents, who are delighted that this problem have been solved in 24 Hours.”

The Travellers left the site at around 6.30pm and I informed readers on social media that – “I will ask City of Wolverhampton Officers to take a look as to how we can harden the Open Space to try and deter any future incursion. I am also asking them to do a litter pick, and lift the rubbish that has been left. Which I must say doesn’t look excessive. As you can see from the pictures of wide open spaces.”

In conclusion Your City Councillors are very pleased with how the situation ended, no big confrontations, a remarkably short turn round, and every one working together in partnership. Plus all the local residents being made aware of what was happening in timescales. If I say so myself communications really has made the difference!

Not everyone will be pleased with the events, but the majority of Wednesfield North residents appear to be very understanding about how this has turned out.

Thank you everyone for your patience!

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more