Gypsies and Travellers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:12 pm on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 10:12 pm, 10th September 2018

I have to confess that I was not privy to the meeting, but I understand that the pros and cons of the Irish model were discussed in some detail, and I think there are some cons as well as pros.

The second broad issue that was raised, quite rightly, by my hon. Friend the Member for South West Bedfordshire was the living conditions on sites. He made an important point about the conditions on existing authorised sites, some of which, I hear, are unsuitable for habitation. I agree that they are, frankly, disgraceful. I would remind the House that, under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, private caravan sites in England, which may include owner-occupied and rented Traveller sites, must have planning permission and a site licence issued by the local authority. It is an offence to run a site without a licence. Housing that is not fit for habitation is not acceptable under any circumstances.