§ 21. Mr. Haselhurst
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what reaction there has been to circular 57/78 on gipsy caravan sites; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Denis Howell
The circular has been generally welcomed, and we hope to introduce the proposed legislation very shortly.
§ Mr. Haselhurst
Will the Minister confirm that, notwithstanding the general policy of non-harassment, there is still discretion for a local authority to take remedial action in cases where caravan dwellers park in circumstances which cause a serious nuisance to the occupants of residential property or cause a public health hazard?
§ Mr. Howell
Most certainly, yes. We have to have approaches with a two-pronged policy: first, to provide the necessary sites and supervision, and, second, to stop caravan owners from parking indiscriminately in a manner which is a threat to the interests of other people and to public health.
§ Mr. Hugh Fraser
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider making mandatory the Caravan Sites Act 1968, which would mean that caravan sites have to be provided? That would get round a great deal of the present difficulty when individuals want to bring injunctions against the owners of caravans which are wrongly parked. Until that is done, the present confusion will continue.
§ Mr. Howell
The right hon. Gentleman has made an interesting suggestion. As I said in my original answer, we hope to produce proposals in the House very shortly, when, no doubt, we shall be able to consider his suggestion.