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Mike Wood: Some illegal Traveller camps in Dudley have left behind criminal damage and large clean-up bills for council tax payers. May we have a debate on the use of police powers to remove illegal camps and on proposals to allow combined authorities to pool provision for authorised Traveller sites, rather than insisting that each local authority has its own provision?
Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
My hon. Friend raises a subject that has been raised at every business questions so far in this Parliament, which highlights the importance of the issue in every constituency. Local authorities and the police have a wide range of strong powers that help them to take action, including being able to direct trespassers to leave the land, removing any vehicles and property, when there is a suitable pitch elsewhere in that local authority area. I hear my hon. Friend’s point about pooling local authority resources. That is not currently possible, but he may wish to raise it directly with Ministers.