Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

NEW MEASURES TO STOP UNAUTHORISED GYPSY AND TRAVELLER SITES

  • Comment
Council leaders have launched a report calling for new measures to put an end to 4,000 unauthorised Gypsy and Trave...
Council leaders have launched a report calling for new measures to put an end to 4,000 unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller sites.

By providing the Gypsy and Traveller community with sufficient authorised sites, the spread of unauthorised encampments will be stopped and relationships between the settled and Gypsy and Traveller communities will be improved, a Local Government Association report states.

Report of the LGA Gypsy and Traveller Task Group

Once located on authorised sites councils will be able to ensure that Travelling communities pay council tax for the services they use.

The LGA believes it is important that the Gypsy and Traveller community and the settled community have equal rights, and that they bear the same responsibilities. Only when this is seen to happen will there be reduced friction between the two groups.

Almost four thousand unauthorised sites in England account for a quarter of all sites.

The new measures outlined in the LGA report include:

* Provision of sufficient suitable sites for the 4,000 caravans currently on unauthorized sites or unauthorized developments.

* Ensuring all Gypsies and Travellers pay council tax. At present only some do.

* Limiting potential environmental damage by providing waste, sanitation and other services, which must be paid for by the Gypsies and Travellers using them.

* Dealing effectively with the minority of problem sites with measures including Anti Social Behaviour Orders and using police power where necessary.

* Establishing temporary stopping sites and then issuing annual licences to Gypsies and Travellers who want to use these sites.

Richard Bennett, chairman of the Local Government Association's Gypsies and Travellers Task Group, said:

'Only by providing more authorised sites and implementing new measures can councils deal effectively with the problem of unauthorised encampments and unauthorized developments.

'Both the Gypsy and Traveller and settled communities must have equal rights and carry the same responsibilities. This means all Gypsies and Travellers must pay Council Tax and pay for the services they use. Only when this is seen to happen will there be reduced friction between the two groups.

'Councils must now complete accommodation needs assessments for both the travelling and settled communities, and then Gypsy and Traveller sites need to be provided urgently. Central government appears to be supportive of this, but there are cost implications which they need to address for this to happen.

'But this is not a case of central government versus local government. Many groups have come together to work on this, including the Commission for Racial Equality, the Gypsy and Traveller community, and the Department for Communities and Local Government.'

Additional Info

- Gypsies and Travellers on authorized sites are currently charged council tax. Those on unauthorized sites are not charged council tax until the valuation office has allocated the caravans on that site with a council tax band.

- the report says that all unauthorized sites be moved to authorized sites.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.