CLEAN up costs after an illegal traveller camp was set up at Sun Corner topped £1,000.

Concerns have been raised about the cost to taxpayers however one MP claimed the next Queen’s Speech could change the law and avoid this in the future.

Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan confirmed the cost to clear up the mess at Queen, Elizabeth Park, Billericay - following the illegal site on August 26- was £1,052.

Among the damage was a broken padlock and reports of incidents involving police and incidents of dogs out of control.

Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, understands residents’ concerns when it comes to using taxpayers’ money to clear up the mess. The councillor for Nethermayne Ward, said: “It’s taxpayers’ money.

“No one wants to pay for people who don’t want to keep the area tidy.

“Flytipping costs the council £70,000 a year.

“Those responsible need the book thrown at them.”

Councillor David Harrison, chairman of the neighbourhoods and public spaces committee, added; “We would urge them to clear up after themselves.

“When travellers come onto public land, the council have to clear up after them.

“There’s no getting away from that.

“People would complain if we didn’t get rid of it.”

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, is hopeful incidents like this could be prevented by what is called the Irish Option.

This involves criminalising trespass - currently a civil offence - which would mean extra powers for authorities and police to move illegal sites on.

The MP, in a letter to Lib Dem councillor for Rayleigh James Newport, claimed this could become part of the Queen’s Speech - which details a list of bills proposed for the next Government.

In the letter, that the Echo has seen, Mr Francois states: “I believe the Irish Option would act as a serious deterrent for deliberate trespassing. If the trespassers refuse to move, they will be arrested We may yet see something on the matter during the Queen’s Speech.” The bill would need to pass through Parliament.