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Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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113 and 114.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) what action has been taken by his Department following the recommendation in the Report of the Survey on Gypsies and other Travellers in Kent, that a national decision as to the policy to be followed should precede the making of any long-term arrangements to deal with the problems involved;(2) what action was taken following representations in 1958 on behalf of all local authorities in Staffordshire that the problem of gypsy and other nomadic caravan dwellers was a national one and that his Department should set up a working party to examine the problem, including the carrying out of a national survey, and to make recommendations.

The hon. Member has, I understand, seen a copy of the letter the Ministry sent to the Kent County Council in 1953, following the survey to which he refers, and I have written to him more recently about the Staffordshire report, which suggested that the best hope of solving the problem lay in the provision of controlled sites by local authorities.