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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
MP suggests Gypsy vehicle seizure
Vehicles owned by travellers who use illegal camps in England should be seized and sold to pay for cleaning them up, an MP says.

North West Leicestershire MP David Taylor said the scale of unauthorised camping is blighting people's lives.

He has also called on local authorities to use existing powers to tackle the problem and take more care in selecting official transit sites.

A government spokesman said current legislation should be sufficient.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "Alongside tough enforcement, it is important that councils also ensure there are enough authorised sites for travelling communities to live on to make sure there is no reason for unauthorised encampments."

We need to return to this with greater powers and greater resources
David Taylor, MP for North West Leicestershire

Mr Taylor said there was a "chronic problem" in the Ibstock area which had left businesses and landowners feeling marginalised.

"We need to tighten legislation even more," he said. "We should certainly have powers of vehicle confiscation and sale to pay for the clean ups.

"This is something that drives people mad because they see the problems on a regular basis."

He also warned sites in the Coalville area currently short listed for short term camps were "fatally flawed".

Mr Taylor called on both national and local authorities co ordinate their approach to find an effective solution.

"We need to return to this with greater powers and greater resources and of course try to find an appropriate transit site."

The county council said people could give feedback on the proposed transit sites until 2 November.

No one from the Gypsy Council has yet commented.

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