Councils are failing to provide enough sites to accommodate a growing number of gypsies and travellers migrating to the West Midlands, the Government has warned.
The Communities Secretary John Denham said councils were failing to do enough to help travelling communities and said local authorities should start providing more sites to accommodate them.
His concerns came as The West Midlands Regional Assembly released figures suggesting the region will need an additional 1,000 extra pitches over the next eight years to cope with growth. The figures, outlined in a consultation document as part of the regional spatial strategy, said that 939 permanent pitches (a standard unit for a gypsy family which could include more than one caravan) and 244 transit pitches will be required before 2017. A further 118, or single family units, are needed to cater for the needs of travelling show people.
Mr Denham said: “The Government has put funding in place for local authorities to provide new authorised sites and an effective enforcement framework that gives them the tools to tackle unauthorised developments.
“Now local authorities must make rapid progress on making full use of these powers whenever they are needed.”