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Travelling People

Volume 886: debated on Wednesday 12 February 1975

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20.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has received the report of the committee chaired by Lord Birsay on Scotland's travelling people.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. It would be helpful if the Scottish Grand Committee could have an opportunity of considering the report when it is published. Is my hon. Friend aware that this is the fourth report on this subject that has been made to the Secretary of State during this century? Is he aware that after the previous report one Scottish local authority set up one designated site, which compares unfavourably with the 117 designated in England? Will my hon. Friend take steps to ensure that the recommendations contained in the report are translated into action by the Government?

What is discussed in the Scottish Grand Committee is not a matter for me, but I have no doubt that my hon. Friend's supplementary question will have been noted by those concerned. I was not aware that this was the fourth report this century, but I am glad to have that information from my hon. Friend. Once the report is published there will have to be a considerable amount of discussion with local authorities on the question of sites. Local authorities have statutory power to provide sites, but I regret that progress so far has been disappointing.