§ Mr. Aspinwall
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, following the High Court decision that travellers did not come within the legal definition of gipsy, in the case of new age travellers seeking to compel Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Devon county councils to provide them with camp sites, he will now withdraw directions to Avon county council to provide sites for gipsies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
The question of gipsy status under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 is a matter of fact and degree to be determined by local authorities whom the Act requires to provide accommodation for gipsies. I have no doubt that authorities will study closely the recent judgment of the High Court about the status of travellers stationed on unauthorised sites in Devon, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.
A count undertaken on 21 July 1993 found 332 gipsy caravans stationed on unauthorised sites in the county of Avon. My right hon. Friend has no plans to withdraw the direction to provide sites which his predecessor gave to Avon county council on 13 October 1990.