A Big or Divided Society?

The final recommendations and report of the panel reviews into the impact of the coalition Government policy on Gypsies and Travellers

The Report was launched at a reception in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons on the 11th May 2011 at a reception hosted by Lord Avebury and Andy Slaughter MP. Lord Avebury says:

“In the report, a number of experts and key stakeholders have expressed fears that the Government’s localist agenda could well bring to a halt Traveller site construction in the UK. If this is so, it will impact negatively on the welfare of Gypsy and Traveller families; increase the number of unauthorized encampments and developments, and burden the wider community with expense and inconvenience. I will therefore be proposing amendments to the Localism Bill placing a statutory duty on local authorities to grant sufficient planning permissions for Gypsy and Traveller sites to accommodate Gypsies residing in or resorting to their area. The test of sufficiency will be the numbers arrived at through the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment, together with the Public Inquiries that followed. The Secretary of State will have the power to direct local authorities which fail to achieve these numbers, by analogy with the power given to the Minister to issue directions to local authorities to provide sites in the Caravan Sites Act 1968”.

The report was based on two days of hearings which took place in Parliament at which a range of stakeholders presented evidence. The research was project managed by the Travellers Aid Trust (TAT). TAT Administrator Susan Alexander stated:

“The Travellers Aid Trust has actively supported Traveller law reform for many years. In light of the proposed policy changes being put forward by the new Coalition government and their potential impact on the Gypsy Roma Traveller community, the Trust welcomed the opportunity to facilitate a Panel Review. The Panel has provided a platform that has brought together a wide range of stakeholders enabling them to share their wealth of knowledge and experience in this area”.

For more information contact:

The Travellers Aid Trust
PO Box 16,
Kidwelly,
Carmarthenshire SA17 5BN

info@travellersaidtrust.org

Telephone/Fax: 01554 891876

The report can be downloaded at:

www.travellersaidtrust.org/panel-review