Funding announced for authorised Gypsy and Traveller Sites in East of England
Posted on December 18, 2008
Communities Minister Iain Wright today announced the successful bidders for funding from the Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant in 2008/9 to provide new pitches to reduce unauthorised camping, and help improve conditions on existing authorised sites. The funding will enable local authorities and registered social landlords to provide new authorised pitches whose residents will pay rent, council tax and other utility bills.
The funding will help reduce the costs of enforcing against unauthorised sites - it is estimated that this costs local authorities around £18 million a year.
In the East of England £1.3 million of Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant has been allocated to provide new sites, extend 2 sites, and support refurbishment works on 5 sites.
Communities Minister Iain Wright said:
"The Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant is crucial to the delivery of both new and better sites to ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have authorised, decent places to live.
The problem of unauthorised camping and the tensions it can cause will only be tackled through sufficient provision of well-managed, authorised sites, coupled with effective enforcement action. Site provision helps reduce the need for enforcement action - which costs taxpayers around £18 million a year - and makes it quicker and easier to take action where unauthorised camping does take place."
Schemes have been assessed by independent consultants and considered by Regional Assemblies. All proposals for new sites are subject to the full planning process.
The Homes and Communities Agency will be responsible for the Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant for 2009/10 onwards.
Source: Government Office for the East of England
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