has been announced today to tackle public concern about nuisance and
disorder arising from such encampments.
move on unauthorised traveller encampments with improved local site
The range of actions include:
- Provide initial funding to facilitate the provision of temporary,
transit and emergency stopping place sites for travellers.
As a first step the 2003/4 round of the Gypsy Site Refurbishment
Programme will be revised so as to provide initial funding for
temporary sites as well as continuing to provide money to help with
the refurbishment of existing network local authority authorised
sites. The details are currently being drawn up, and bidding guidance
with full details will be issued in the autumn.
- Produce new guidance on managing unauthorised camping.
The guidance will be informed by views both from the settled
communities, including residents, business people and farmers, and
travellers. The new guidance will in particular emphasise the need
for effective local strategies which set out clearly lead
responsibilities between local authorities and the police for taking
action. The guidance will emphasise that the same standards of
behaviour and regard for the law are expected from all sectors of the
community, including regard for public health, proper disposal of
waste and the conduct of business activities. The new guidance will
be issued this autumn.
- Provide police with increased powers to move on unauthorised
The police will have new eviction powers only where local authorities
have made provision for temporary, transit and emergency stopping
sites proportionate to the number of travellers that regularly pass
through their area. This reflects the government's view that the use
of stronger enforcement powers and adequate site provision must be
Housing and regeneration minister Tony McNulty said the revised
policy was a very positive step towards helping local authorities
address the issue of unauthorised encampments by, amongst other
things, improving site provision:
'Our strategy is balanced and fair. The standard of behaviour of
travellers should be the same as that expected of the settled
community and does not mean turning a blind eye to anti-social
Home Office minister John Denham said:
'Taken together this approach signifies the government's
determination to provide a viable framework within which local
agencies - in particular local authorities and the police - can
respond to unauthorised camping in a way which recognises the needs
and concerns of both the settled and traveller communities.'