SOUTHEND Conservatives are demanding new powers to fine travellers who pitch up in the town. 

They are calling on the Labour, Lib Dem and Independent-led council to place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) on green spaces in the borough to stop unauthorised encampments on public property.

Tories say this will allow the council to fine those who are camping in a tent, caravan or any other type of motor vehicle on public land.

This follows from multiple unauthorised encampments which have sprung up around the borough over the last few months, bringing with them widespread reports of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

The Conservatives' call comes after travellers pitched up at a park in Shoebury last night.

Cllr Daniel Nelson, shadow cabinet member for community safety, said: "It is vitally important that as a council we prioritise the welfare of our residents in the borough who pay the council tax with their hard earned cash. It is simply not fair for them to suffer anti-social or criminal behaviour that arises when people set up an unauthorised encampment.

"This PSPO will give the Council their vital powers to tackle these issues whilst it gathers evidence to apply for a borough wide injunction."

Last year the Southend Conservative Group called for a borough-wide injunction, which was rejected because the council said there was not enough evidence to introduce the injunction.

A Tory spokesman said: "In the light of the continuing problems of unauthorised encampments, Southend Conservatives believe that the Council should still apply for a borough wide injunction."