James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James at The Springfields Academy
James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
“As far as I can see, the travelling community seems to have struck on a formula which under current planning regulations allows them to set up illegal encampments more or less at will,” said James Gray MP. “This was one of the issues I raised with Jim Knight MP, Minister for the South West, at the South West Regional Grand Committee last Thursday,” said the North Wiltshire MP. “The whole question of how much provision the Council has to make for gypsies and travellers of all kinds is a highly controversial one. Wiltshire is traditionally a very well provided county, but there are certainly those around who argue that because we have insufficient provision - depending on how you assess the demand - then it makes it difficult for planning inspectors to remove travellers from illegal sites,” said Mr Gray.
“All of this is mired in controversy and has been made significantly worse, both by the existence of the so-called ‘Regional Spatial Strategy’ - a sort of centralised Stalinist approach to planning, which an incoming Conservative Government is committed to abolishing - and because of the presumption in favour of gypsies and travellers inherent in laws brought in by the Labour Government, which again we are committed to abolishing.” “As far as I can see, there is no possible reason why people of any racial background should be given preferential treatment over any others. Planning law should apply to all equally, including those who might or might not define themselves as gypsies or travellers.”
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