LibCon coalition rounds on Gypsies & Travellers'

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Jun 8 12:59:16 BST 2010

So, Gypsies and travellers were prohibited from 
stopping by the side of the road as they have 
always done by the 1993 CJA... then told to buy 
land and live on it... but evicted when they 
did... then they were told to go to council 
sites.... with 4-5 yr waiting lists.... and now 
David Cameron tells councils are told they no 
longer have to provide these sites.
Is this about human rights and equality??
Or is it a planned programme of far right 
harassment, criminalising law-abiding gypsies and travellers?
What about re-asserting the traditional right of 
Gypsies to stay on all roadside sites. This seems 
the only sensible way to fight this gradual 
harassment of Gypsies and Travellers' fragile but precious way of life.

Threat to Gypsy and Traveller rights

    * <>The Guardian, Friday 4 June 2010

The coalition government has arrived with a civil 
liberties agenda 
28 May). But not for the UK's most deprived and 
discriminated-against minority ethnic group – 
Gypsies and Travellers. Already the government 
has reversed progressive policies giving 
incentives for local authorities to develop Gypsy 
and Traveller sites, by cuts announced in the 
and Communities Agency budget, cancelling all 
next year's bids for sites. The 
announced plans to scrap planning and 
circulars which have started to give Gypsies and 
Travellers a "level playing field" in planning 
disputes with local authorities and planning 
inspectors. According to Eric Pickles, they want 
to revive the "Gypsy 
<>law" of criminal 
trespass. This discriminatory law was derided 
when Michael Howard campaigned on it in 2005.

Detailed research has identified targets for 
sites for Gypsies and Travellers, and yards for 
showmen. Many have been agreed with local 
authorities and progress was starting to be made. 
After years of inaction on sites a cumulative 
need has built up. The situation now is worse 
than ever and will only get worse without new 
provision. We face a future of more roadside and 
unauthorised encampments, leading to inevitable 
community conflict and enforcement costs to local council tax payers.

Gypsy and Traveller families have just 3,729 
caravans on unauthorised sites in the whole of 
England, with a further 13,708 caravans on 
council and private sites 
Count, July 2009) and "It is estimated that the 
entire Gypsy and Traveller population could be 
legally accommodated if as little as one square 
mile of land were allocated for sites in England" 
March 2009). We are calling on the government to 
think again on its policies and stick to 
progressive programmes based on civil liberties and fairness.

John Grayson (AdEd Knowledge Company and Sheffield Hallam University)

Prof Thomas Acton (Greenwich University)

Sarah Cemlyn ( Bristol University)

Marion Horton (Researcher AdEd Knowledge Company)

Sarah Wilson (Research Assistant York University)

Prof. Marjorie Mayo (Goldsmiths, London University)

Dr.Ryan Powell (Research Fellow, Sheffield Hallam University)

Andrew Ryder (Researcher)

Dr.Margaret Greenfields (Researcher)

Andrew Petrie (Researcher)

Prof Gary Craig (Durham University)

Dr Mick Wilkinson (Hull University)

Dr. Stuart Hodkinson (Research Fellow Leeds University)

Jake Bower (Romany Broadcaster)

Dr Chris Derrington ( Researcher)

Charlie Cooper (Hull University)

Dr Will Guy (Bristol University)

Dr Colin Clark (Strathclyde University)

Jon Fox (Bristol University)

Yvonne MacNamara (Director Irish Traveller Movement in Britain)

Robert Vanderbeck (Leeds University)

Dr. Philip Brown (Salford University)

Renny Mulhearn (Planning Rep Yorkshire Showmens Guild)

Quintin Bradley (Leeds Met University)

Daniela Hawryliuk (Sheffield Hallam University)

Dr. Kesia Reeve (Sheffield Hallam University)

Prof.. Margaret Ledwith (Cumbria University)

+44 (0)7786 952037
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