Last week I hosted the first of a series of meetings I have organised with Cheshire Police, local businesses and residents to discuss the ongoing problems caused by illegal Traveller encampments.

Across many areas of the constituency, at what seems to be certain times of the year, we are seeing growing numbers of Travellers pitching up on both private and public land.

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Armitt, along with two inspectors and a chief inspector, all of whom deal with different aspects of policing in relation to the Traveller community, attended a meeting with me and many businesses from around Parkgate Industrial Estate.

It follows the continuing problem we have with Travellers moving from car park to car park on the estate, most recently last month.

It was an extremely productive meeting, with businesses hearing from the police what new powers they have to move people on, how they go about it, the dedicated teams working on this issue, and what information police need from people reporting the incidents to ensure it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

The police are taking this issue seriously and I was delighted they agreed to these meetings and such senior officers took time out to come and discuss the issue and show they understand how much of a nuisance this is causing.

This meeting was the first of many that will be happening in the coming weeks.

I know residents in Rudheath also face similar issues with encampments at Gadbrook Park, and residents from Knutsford, Wilmslow, Mobberley and Handforth have also contacted me about previous problems at Booths Hall in Knutsford, the Royal London site and Wilmslow Garden Centre, as well as Harman Technology in Mobberley to name just a few.

On Monday my office received a call informing us there was now an encampment on the Heath in Knutsford.

No one is above the law and there are sites up and down the country where Travellers are legally allowed to pitch.

They are very aware of this yet some show no regard for others and are pitching up wherever they feel like it. I would encourage anyone who sees such encampments to report it to the police.

Police now have new extended powers to deal with illegal encampments, and I am delighted police are using those powers to move Travellers on as quickly as possible.

We need to send a clear message that illegal encampments will not be tolerated.