HC Deb 20 July 1976 vol 915 cc425-6W
Mr. Douglas-Mann

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he is satisfied with the working of the Caravan Sites Act 1968; and whether he now proposes any amendment to it;

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure provision of caravan sites for the estimated 5,000 gipsy families for whom no caravan sites are available.

Mr. John Silkin

I would refer my hon. Friend to my replies to my hon. Friend the Member for Peckham (Mr. Lamborn) on 26th February 1976—[Vol. 906, c.314–5]—and to the hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Shelton) on 19th March 1976.—[Vol. 907, c. 662.]

I am far from satisfied with the present situation, but the responsibility for it lies with the local authorities, which have long had powers to provide caravan sites and since 1970 have had a statutory duty to provide sites for the gipsies residing in or resorting to their area. I shall consider in the light of Mr. Cripps' report what further action is necessary.