What do we need? More sites! When do we need them? Now!

Gerrard Winstanley tony at tlio.org.uk
Wed Apr 23 01:11:12 BST 2008

Latest edition of Travellers Times just dropped through my door - what
a fan bloomin' tastic little magazine it is and this month's has a
special Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month supplement. Contact
details below to subscribe.

What do we need? More sites! When do we need them? Now!

According to the Scottish Government there were
2,800 Gypsy and Travellers, or 848
`households' in the country during last July. Yet
six months earlier, in January, there were only
1,650 people or 551 `households'. "The
Scottish Gypsy Traveller population fluctuates
from year to year and season to season,"
explained a Government spokesman.
Scotland's Government is spending £1m a year
(£3.5m over the next three years) on site
provision. "This could range from upgrading
current facilities to creating entirely new sites,"
said the spokesman adding: "Local authorities
are best placed to decide the most appropriate
action in their area."

Northern Ireland
There are eleven local authority sites in
Northern Ireland. A debate on sites at the
Northern Ireland Assembly in February revealed
these included two transit and three `emergency
halting' sites. The province was estimated to
have a Traveller population of 1,700 in 2004.
As in England, accommodation needs
assessments are currently being carried out.
The results are expected this May.

Councils in Wales are being offered £1.5m to
build new sites during 2008/09. The cash,
which comes on top of £1.7m for site
improvements, was announced by Welsh
Assembly Minister Dr Brian Gibbons in March.
"It is imperative that we address the genuine
accommodation needs of Gypsies and
Travellers," said the minister. "Decent living
conditions will have a positive knock-on effect
when accessing other essential services such
as health and education."
But Sarah Hendry, forced to live on the side of the
road because Newport, Gwent has no official site
(TT34), was not impressed. "I wish they'd hurry
up," she told TT. "I've been told we've got to
move again and I have absolutely nowhere to go."

Twelve new Traveller sites including Mannings
Heath, Poole (£1.8m), Russell Street, Derby
(£1.4m) and Hawford Bridge in south Norfolk
(£1.1m) are to be built in England.
Find out if there's a new site, or refurbishment
plans for a site near you. The full list is on

» Contact Us

web - http://www.travellerstimes.org.uk

email - travellerstimes at ruralmedia.co.uk

Tel - 01432 344039

Travellers' Times
The Rural Media Company
Sullivan House
72-80 Widemarsh Street

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