HC Deb 20 May 1974 vol 874 c56W
Mr. Newness

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list those local authorities in Essex which have established sites for the use of caravan dwellers and those with proposals in hand for the establishment of sites;

(2) if he will ascertain and publish the number of places available on official sites established in Essex for caravan dwellers who normally spend a significant part of the year in Essex, on the basis of one site per caravan.

Mr. Oakes

The Essex County Council has notified my Department of only two permanent gipsy sites it has established at Ongar and Harlow, together accommodating 28 caravans. I understand there are also temporary sites at Basildon and Harlow. At 30th September last the county council, had firm plans for two more permanent sites—36 caravans—at Basildon and Colchester, to be opened during 1975. Another five sites—80 caravans—were envisaged at Braintree, Chelmsford, Harlow, Maldon and Thurrock, but the precise locations had not been determined.

It is for the county council to estimate the sites it needs. I understand it currently estimates that there are some 200 gypsies in the county.