Birmingham City Council has been granted an injunction banning travellers from pitching camp in Swanshurst Park. Travellers who park their caravans on the park in future could be found guilty of contempt of court. This could lead to them having assets seized or even to them being sent to prison.
The action follows a number of occasions on which travellers set up camp in the park. Local residents found their presence intimidating and the travellers usually left large quantities of fly-tipped rubbish behind when they were moved on. The cost of cleaning up after these camps had to be met by the city council.
Councillor Karen McCarthy was quoted in the Birmingham Mail, saying “The court order was only made possible because residents were prepared to make statements, provide the evidence so the council officers could make the case.”
A fire has destroyed a significant part of the orchard that has been created in a neglected corner of the Highbury Estate by the Highbury Orchard Community. The Fire Service was called out late on the afternoon of 25 August 2017 and, although the fire was put out within an hour, it destroyed one side of the wooden enclosure, a polytunnel and part of the surrounding area.
There have been a number of attacks by vandals over the summer and the suspicion is that the fire was caused by vandals.
A cleanup is being organised on Wednesday and Thursday 30 and 31 August 2017. Volunteers are needed to help with this work.
In addition, the project needs donations of materials and cash to help with the rebuilding work.