§ Sir Michael McNair-Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the definition of gipsy in the Caravan Sites Act 1986.
§ Sir George Young
Section 16 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 defines gipsies aspersons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin, but does not include members of an organised group of travelling showmen, or of persons engaged in travelling circuses, travelling together as such.
It is the responsibility of a local authority to decide whether any person qualifies, under the statutory definition, for accommodation on a gipsy site. The essential test is whether, as a matter of fact and degree, someone claiming to be a gipsy is of a nomadic habit of life.