Rugby MP Mark Pawsey calls for government to urgently introduce changes to planning laws

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WESTMINSTER debate raised by MP Mark Pawsey for residents affected by illegal Gypsy and traveller encampments.

Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons last week Mr Pawsey called on the government to move more quickly in bringing about changes in the law to tackle the problem of illegal Gypsy and traveller camps.

Many communities in and around Rugby have been affected by illegal camps and Mark has been steadfast in his support for disillusioned residents who wish to see changes in the present planning laws.

Speaking after the debate Mr Pawsey said: “Through the Localism Bill the government has outlined its intention to give more power to local people to make decisions which affect their local communities. Provisions within the bill will tackle many of the problems being faced in villages such as Barnacle today and what I would like to see is those changes implemented with greater speed.”

He continued: “Nobody is above the law but many local residents affected by illegal traveller camps can be forgiven for venting their frustrations at the present system which is being manipulated in order to keep illegal camps in operation. There is a general feeling in some areas that there is one rule for settled communities and another for some travelling communities.”

Mr Pawsey added: “Local people are best placed to consider local matters and the government rightly recognises this. Now is the time for Ministers to consider the flaws in the present system and to bring about a change in the law which will prevent illegal camps from being established in the future.”

Concluding the debate Communities and Local Government Minister the Rt Hon Bob Neill MP promised that the Government would carefully consider all the issues relating to illegal Gypsy camps and would move swiftly to resolve present flaws in the system following the consultation period.