Council takes action on tents and drinkers in Hyde Gate area

Winchester City Council has taken legal action to remove illegal tents and drink-related nuisance from the Hyde Gate area of the City.

The Council, working with the police and other agencies, obtained injunctions against five individuals and each injunction carries the power of arrest and is effective from the date it is served.   A Squatters Possession Order was also obtained to tackle any further illegal encampments, and this Order comes into force immediately.

The move follows numerous complaints from local residents about the setting up of tents, and alcohol-related nuisance in the area.

Cllr Frank Pearson, Cabinet portfolio holder for Community Safety, said "the Council recognised that the individuals concerned have their own very specific problems, but we have had to take into account the impact they were having on the rest of the community.

"In the longer term we will work in partnership with specialist agencies to try and agree a way forward to suit all needs," he added.

Sandra Tuddenham, the Council's Community Safety Officer, said the Winchester Community Safety Partnership has formed a sub group of specialist agencies who are working together to reduce incidents like this in the future.

"People with alcohol-related dependencies often lead very chaotic lifestyles which can impact on the surrounding community. What we intend to do in the future is to agree the development of local initiatives that will strike an even balance for everyone.

"The specialist agencies will take into account all of the recent issues before putting forward a proposal to the Community Safety Partnership in September," she added.