HC Deb 24 June 1974 vol 875 cc347-8W
Mr. Molloy

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will consider arranging a meeting between officers of his Department, representatives of the Gypsy Council and the London borough of Ealing, in an effort to resolve the problem created for the gipsies by Ealing providing land at the instigation of his Department for use by the gipsies;

(2) what representations he has made to the Gypsy Council to enlist its cooperation in resolving problems created by gipsies in the London borough of Ealing who are endeavouring to abide by his Department's instructions;

(3) what action he intends to undertake to assist the London borough of Ealing in resolving the problem of unofficial gipsy encampments on his Department's land in Northolt.

Mr. John Silkin

In providing a site for gipsies the Ealing Borough Council is fulfilling its duty under the Caravan Sites Act 1968, not the instructions of my Department.

I understand that the borough council is seeking the help of the National Gypsy Council over certain problems arising on the new site and I am sure it will give what help it can. The good offices of my Department are always available if they can be helpful, but the responsibility for managing the site is entirely a matter for the borough council.

Following my meeting on 11th April with a deputation led by my hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Sandelson) I understand that there are now no unauthorised encampments on Government land in Northolt.