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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
Duty Minister

 

 

 

 

 

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Last update:  04/08/2008
Author:          Nick Goulder, Director

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