Leading charities call on government to put Traveller site provision first in upcoming unauthorised sites review

Today, Friday 13th April 2018, leaders from 25 leading charities joined with Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) in calling on Housing Minister Dominic Raab to address the chronic national shortage of Gypsy and Traveller sites and available stopping places in the UK. The letter, penned by FFT Co-Directors Sarah Mann and Zoe Matthews calls on the Housing Minister to ensure the recently announced review of the laws and powers to deal with unauthorised caravan sites is not used as an opportunity to introduce more punitive legislation against Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The health, race equality and human rights charities who have co-signed the letter have highlighted their concerns that if more punitive legislation were to be introduced that this would further worsen the health and wellbeing of Gypsy and Traveller communities, who are already recognised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as one of the groups experiencing the worst health and educational inequalities in the UK.

A copy of the letter sent to Dominic Raab, including a full list of co-signees can be found here.

Speaking about the letter, Zoe Matthews, Co-Director at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“The Housing Minister has a real opportunity here to address the chronic national shortage of Gypsy and Traveller sites and the lack of available stopping places. This would have an incredibly positive effect in addressing the health, social and educational inequalities experienced by Gypsy and Traveller communities, and will be welcomed by all people in its enhancement of community cohesion. There is enough legislation to deal with antisocial behaviour from any person, whoever they are, which impacts on Gypsies and Travellers as well as settled communities!”

 

Media Contact

Sarah Sweeney – Office hours Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm

Tel: 07963 382 190 Email: sarahsweeney@gypsy-traveller.org

Other relevant reports and press releases

Friends, Families and Travellers Press Release: If there must be a review of powers to tackle unauthorised sites, the focus should be on local authorities’ failure to identify land for Gypsies and Travellers to live on

Friends, Families and Travellers Briefing: Lack of increase in Affordable Pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in England, December 2017

Friends, Families and Travellers Briefing: Research on the five year supply of deliverable Gypsy and Traveller sites in the South East, June 2016

Friends, Families and Travellers Leaflet: Changes to planning definition for Gypsies and Travellers, November 2015

Last updated Apr 13, 2018

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