Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Scully has urged Sutton Council to make greater use of its powers to remove travellers after another group arrived in Cheam Park over the weekend.

The group is believed to have entered into the public space at around 7pm, moving in from nearby Fairlands Park.

They were to leave Fairlands Park by Monday, following a court order, while the council said it's now looking to get an injunction "as soon as possible".

Mr Scully said: “We've had travellers before but this is probably the biggest that I remember in recent years, and the most persistent because they have been travelling from one place to another - from Beddington Park, Poulter Park, Rosehill Park West, Fairlands Park, and now Cheam Park.

“What the council could have done with this, because there are powers that are available to them, is use what they call section 61 powers.

“Which basically mean that if they take all reasonable steps to ask the travellers to leave, the police are then able to evict them.

“Sutton is one of the few boroughs that doesn't use this power, for whatever reason.”

It is believed entry was gained into Cheam Park and Recreational Ground through the Netley Close entrance after a padlock was removed.

Croydon Council have now obtained powers to ban illegal traveller camps with an injunction after dealing with incidents last month, something Mr Scully hopes Sutton Council adopts as well.

He added: “Super injunctions - the bigger the area, the more evidence you can provide a judge, the easier it is to get. It made it more difficult for Sutton, nonetheless it's something we should do.

“But, as I say, we could use section 61 powers. The court order that they got for Fairlands Park could have included a wider area than just Fairlands Park, it didn't so it just allowed them to go next door.

“There was no council officer on site last night available, even if the police had been prepared to help them.”

In a joint statement, Cllr Ruth Dombey, the council's leader, as well as chairman of the environment and neighbourhood committee Cllr Manuel Abellan, said the authority is now in discussion with lawyers to see whether there are legal grounds for an injunction.

This would mirror the approach taken by Croydon Council to cover "all open spaces and other specific sites required by the courts".

The statement added: "Should we have grounds, we will apply for this injunction as soon as possible.

"We will still be required by law to undertake welfare checks but the time currently taken in seeking a court order would be significantly reduced.

"Alongside this legal approach we will continue to review and improve the physical barriers already in place to increase security - as we have done previously in other parks such as Roundshaw - at the same time as ensuring residents and visitors can still enjoy our parks and open spaces."

Sutton Council says it's "frustrated" in having to apply for fresh court orders each time a traveller encampment occurs, which could delay the process compared to an injunction.