Eric Pickles
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Eric Pickles: 'We've given friendship to travellers'

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles says the government has offered "friendship" to travellers - despite clarifying how councils can tackle illegal sites.

Mr Pickles said that £16 million had been set aside to help traveller communities with access to legal encampments, education, healthcare, business and banking.

But he also issued clearer guidelines on ways councils can clamp down on unauthorised traveller sites - such as issuing hefty unlimited fines to illegally parked caravans.

He told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast: "We've offered friendship to the travelling community... all this is simply doing is placing them on exactly the same level as the rest of the population."

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