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!”
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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