Occupy Nottingham protesters standing their ground in Old Market Square
PROTESTERS who are camping in Nottingham's Old Market Square look set to remain at the site, despite the deadline passing for them to leave.
The Occupy Nottingham camp, which was set up in October last year, was handed an eviction notice by Nottingham City Council last week.
The notice told them they had to leave by 4pm yesterday or face legal action, but the group is refusing to move.
In a statement, the Occupy Nottingham movement said: "There is no valid need nor reason at all for the council to evict Occupy Nottingham.
"A deal had been mutually agreed upon provisionally by representatives of both parties and actions were being taken to set that in motion and to show good faith.
"The deal would be a staged withdrawal of the camp from the square, by first compacting the camp and replacing the barriers, then moving to an alternative camp location within the city, leaving a public discussion and info stand in residence on the square."
However, the city council maintain the camp could not remain in the Old Market Square indefinitely.
A spokesman for the council said legal proceedings against the camp will now begin, but could not confirm when papers will be filed with the court.
The spokesman added: "At the beginning of February, we asked them to scale down the size of the camp in preparation for their departure. Despite assurances, no action was taken and in recent weeks our attempts to continue engaging with them were being stonewalled.
"The fact that we have now felt obliged to serve notice on them should therefore come as no surprise. We feel we have been very tolerant of their presence.
"We have had complaints from businesses and residents. We have a responsibility to all citizens, businesses and visitors to the city and have a statutory responsibility to keep the public highway clean, safe and clear."