Gypsies and travellers living on an illegal encampment in Workington are facing eviction – but one councillor believes it will not solve the problem.

Allerdale Borough Council served a notice on Tuesday to evict the travellers from the site, which is based at Moorclose.

A spokesperson for Allerdale Borough Council said “The council on Tuesday, May 11, served a notice under section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 on a gypsy and traveller encampment in the Moorclose area of Workington.

"If the occupants of the land fail to leave, the council can apply for a court order.

“This follows the statutory site visits and welfare checks the council and partner agencies are obliged to carry out and encampments in the borough will continue to be managed in line with the Cumbria Gypsy and Traveller Protocol and national Covid-19 guidance.”

But Independent councillor for Moorclose and Mossbay Steven Stoddart argued that a permanent site was the answer.

He said: “We sympathise with the travellers themselves.

"They should have a permanent site somewhere in Allerdale, but they’ve just been landing in various areas.”

The council and Coun. Stoddart have heard concerns from residents about the site, but enforcement action on illegal encampments has been slowed down by coronavirus restrictions.

He said: “I do know that the council is working on a permanent site, hopefully sooner rather than later.”

Coun. Stoddart believed a permanent site would give travellers a home and reduce cost to the tax payer in the long run.

“It’s costing the council a small fortune in the clean up,” he said.

He added that eviction notices would not need to be put through the system if travellers were given their own site in Allerdale.

“It’s finding the right location in Allerdale.”

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson said: “I think it’s sad that an entire community are tarred with the same brush because of the actions of a few.”

But he said: “Some of those unauthorised encampments have a negative impact on the communities they’re set up.”