Gypsies and Travellers — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:13 am on 16th February 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour 11:13 am, 16th February 2012

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his Answer as far as it goes. However, does he agree with me that the current definition forces ethnic Gypsies and Travellers who want to live in caravans according to their traditional way of life and seek planning permission for that purpose to demonstrate that they pursue a nomadic way of life, when current legislation and the lack of authorised sites makes it almost impossible for them to do so and consigns them to low-paid and erratic employment? For instance, a Gypsy who practised a profession that required living in one place-such as a doctor or an architect of my acquaintance-could not get planning permission for a caravan site on land that he had bought. Does the noble Earl agree? Secondly-