HC Deb 24 May 1968 vol 765 cc1179-80


Mr. John Wells

I beg to move Amendment No. 29, in page 7, leave out lines 1 to 8 and insert:

(1) Every local authority to which subsection (1) of section 6 of this Act applies shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Part of this Act, give notice to the Minister—

  1. (a) describing the number and location of sites proposed to be provided by them pursuant to that section and the number of caravans for which accommodation thereon is designed; or
  2. (b) describing the number and location of sites already provided by them or any other local authority in their area under other statutory powers and which are used or are available for use by gypsies and the numbers of caravans for which accommodation thereon is designed; or
  3. (c) describing such other measures as have been taken by them or any other local authority in their area to provide adequate accommodation for gypsies.

(2) Every local authority as aforesaid, in giving notice to the Minister under the foregoing subsection, shall describe the arrangements provided by them or proposed by them for securing the provision of adequate facilities for the education, health, welfare and employment of gypsies in their area.

(3) Before giving notice under subsection (1) of this section every local authority as aforesaid shall consult with such housing authorities as may appear to them to be appropriate and after such consultations shall, in giving notice to the Minister, describe the arrangements to be made by such authorities for the provision of gypsies wishing to adopt a settled way of life of permanent housing accommodation.

(4) Where any site has been provided under proposals submitted to the Minister under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, the local authority shall give notice to that effect to the Minister.

This is parallel to the previous Amendment which I moved, and I hope that it will be accepted.

Mr. Macdonald

I have been asked to reply.

The Amendment is based upon a fallacy, because the object of the Bill is to note that gipsies live a nomadic way of life, and it seeks to ensure that proper provision shall be made so that that way of life is not offensive to other people. The Amendment goes a step further and seeks to impose a change in their way of life. It assumes that they ought necessarily to be integrated in the community. But the Amendment would require local authorities to make special provision and, in a sense gipsies, would be given priority over other sections of the community. That would arouse considerable resentment, not least among people on housing waiting lists and queueing for other social services by local authorities. While it may be right that gipsies should be integrated into the rest of the community, it is a long-term process and we ought not to rush into it.

Amendment negatived.

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