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Back to Unauthorised Encampments of Gypsies and Travellers in Hampshire letter to Yvette Cooper MP
Unauthorised Encampments of Gypsies and Travellers in Hampshire - response from ODPM
Thank you for your letter of 25 July to Yvette Cooper concerning authorised camping by Gypsies and Travellers in Hampshire. I am replying as duty Minister.
The Government believes that the current powers to deal with unauthorised camping are effective if used correctly. The joint ODPM/Home Office on managing unauthorised camping recommends that each local authority has a strategy in place to deal with this issue, and encourages local authorities to adopt a joint approach with their local police force.
It is important however to recognise the link between unauthorised camping and the current shortage in authorised site provision. In order to address this issue, we will be making £56m of grant funding available through the Regional Housing Boards for site provision and for refurbishment work on existing sites over the next two years. We have also established a Gypsy and Traveller Unit within the Department in order to support the activities of local authorities in the areas of provision and enforcement. The Unit is also working to ensure that councils fulfil the new obligations that have been placed on them by the housing and planning legislation.
I note that of the fifteen authorities represented by the
Association, only five have established authorised sites for Gypsies and
Travellers, and I would encourage those who do not currently make provision to
consider whether doing so would help to alleviate the problems associated with
unauthorised camping in the County.
Baroness Andrews MP
Last update: 04/08/2008