A Cumbrian council slapped an eviction notice on a group of Irish Travellers who pitched up outside its headquarters – only for a second camp to appear in the same place two days later.

Because some of the vehicles and families on the site are different from those that were originally there, the borough authority is forced to consider this a fresh encampment – which means officers must go through the same process again.

A spokesman for Allerdale council said: “In regards to the Travellers currently occupying the overspill car park at Brow Top, Workington, the council has carried out the necessary welfare checks and is working through the legal process to obtain a court order for eviction.”

Earlier this month, councillor Stephen Stoddart – who holds the Communities, Housing and Health portfolio on the authority – called for a police crackdown amid claims that residents were living in fear.

He claimed that travellers had turned the town into a “dump”, citing encampments at Old Side, on the Shore and on the former Jump Mania site opposite Dunmail Park shopping centre.

Yesterday he added: “The council taxpayers of Allerdale want these Travellers to respect our community: respect is a two-way thing in all communities.”

Allerdale Council stressed that it does not tolerate illegal activity and has pledged to act upon illegal encampments in accordance with its legal enforcement powers. However it must also follow a statutory process with every encampment, obliging it to carry out welfare checks before serving an eviction notice.

If that is ignored, the council can seek a court order.

A site for Gypsies and Travellers has been identified in the Allerdale Local Plan which has been “found sound” by the Planning Inspectorate, though no decision has been taken on the building of such a site.

The council is embarking on a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) to identify the current need and is due to start the process in the spring.