LET GOVERNMENT KNOW YOUR VIEWS ON GYPSY SITES URGES MP

- Tuesday, 15th May 2007

 

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, urged constituents to take part in the East of England Regional Authority consultation over their proposed large scale expansion of Hertfordshire gypsy sites. Peter stated the government and East of England Regional Authority have ignored the question of why such a large increase is necessary and have proposed nothing to tackle illegal encampments.

Peter said, "Government legal changes forced the East of England Regional Authority to propose large scale increases in gypsy site numbers. In Hertfordshire alone between 115 and 173 new caravan pitches are proposed –increasing current numbers by between half and three quarters.”

"St. Albans District Council, which currently has 40% of all Hertfordshire plots is being asked to accommodate 34 new caravan pitches. In North Herts the increase is between 3 and 15 caravan pitches.”

"Why is such a massive increase necessary? If due to illegal encampments, will these close if new legal plots are provided? I have heard that changes in Irish law have increased Irish traveller numbers in the UK. The Government should undertake a national survey on this.”

"If we create more public sites in this area without additional alternative national provision gypsy numbers in these sites may also increase. This might justify further expansion of site numbers.”

"Travellers need adequate provision but this isn’t the way to proceed.”

"I urge people to go to register their dissatisfaction on the East of England Regional Authority website - www.eera.gov.uk. The East of England Regional Authority should scale back the large planned increase in site provision until a national assessment of need for traveller sites is made, along with new measures to tackle illegal gypsy encampments.”

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1) Further consultation details are given in more detail at:

http://www.eera.gov.uk/consultation/consultationview.aspx?GUID=SAqkTlAvq7yhiGJXgHD2nSnrB4zSFIsR%2b68LxIQhB2Y%3d

2) The full details of the planned expansion in Hertfordshire sites is at:

http://www.eera.gov.uk/Documents/News/Press%20Releases/2007/May/2007-04-02%20HertfordshireTable.doc

 

 

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