WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones is pressing for tougher action on unauthorised traveller encampments after raising concerns over 'often prolonged' enforcement measures.

The Labour politician has added her signature to a joint letter from MPs to housing, communities and local government minister James Brokenshire calling for Government action on the 'problem'.

A Government consultation on the effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised encampments, which was launched on April 5, is due to close on June 15.

Mrs Jones is calling for 'speedier progress' on the matter.

She said: "As we know only too well here in Warrington, the warmer months bring the return of the unauthorised encampment season and people will be faced with the inconvenience and associated problems that this brings to local communities.

"Our experience in Warrington shows that enforcement measures are often prolonged and, therefore, not as effective as they should and could be.

"The Government needs to treat this problem with some more urgency than they appear to be doing at present.

"With the consultation closing in mid-June it is, unfortunately, likely that another summer will go by before the Government comes up with any concrete proposals.

"I have joined with other MPs in writing to the minister to call for speedier progress to be made on this issue and would urge people to submit a submission to the consultation."

Warrington Borough Council's budget continues to be hit by dealing with unlawful encampments, with vital funds used to carry out site visits and complete clean-up operations.

The authority has almost £2 million set aside to fund a transit site.

A future camp would allow the authority to direct groups to the land.

Senior Town Hall figures believe it would dramatically reduce the number of unlawful encampments across the borough and, therefore, save vital council resources.

It has previously been confirmed that the site, which could be fitted with CCTV, would cost travellers £12.65 per night, or £88.55 weekly, to stay on the land, while a £150 deposit will also be required.

Topics in the consultation include planning enforcement, the provision of authorised sites and impacts on the travelling community.

To contribute click here.