Thursday, 12 May 2011

A Big Or Divided Society?

Final Recommendations and Report of the Panel Review into the Impact of the Coalition Government Policy on Gypsies and Travellers

The Report was launched at a reception in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons on the 11th May 2011 at a reception hosted by Lord Avebury and Andy Slaughter MP. Lord Avebury says:

“In the report, a number of experts and key stakeholders have expressed fears that the Government’s localist agenda could well bring to a halt Traveller site construction in the UK. If this is so, it will impact negatively on the welfare of Gypsy and Traveller families; increase the number of unauthorized encampments and developments, and burden the wider community with expense and inconvenience. I will therefore be proposing amendments to the Localism Bill placing a statutory duty on local authorities to grant sufficient planning permissions for Gypsy and Traveller sites to accommodate Gypsies residing in or resorting to their area. The test of sufficiency will be the numbers arrived at through the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment, together with the Public Inquiries that followed. The Secretary of State will have the power to direct local authorities which fail to achieve these numbers, by analogy with the power given to the Minister to issue directions to local authorities to provide sites in the Caravan Sites Act 1968”.

The report was based on two days of hearings which took place in Parliament at which a range of stakeholders presented evidence. Download the report here

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