new traveller issues

rachelsunrising rachelsunrising at
Wed Jul 6 10:29:31 BST 2011

Dear all,

A lot is happening at the moment that is seriously going to affect Travelling communities. There are a couple of things that can be done to help fight against all this. Planning and legal aid are currently the biggest concerns, but the law on squatting may also be about to be changed (have a look at for more info).


In short the Government wish to remove a lot of the positive planning guidance that Labour introduced. The present proposals include amongst other things the following -

- Making it harder to get sites in rural areas.
- Making it easier for Councils to say no to planning applications (by removing the need to look at proper evidence). 
- A blanket ban on development in the green belt.

Is the link to have a look at for further details. The Government has now been challenged successfully on the way that it has gone about talking to Travellers about their proposals, and they are now asking Travellers to contact them to hold some meetings in order to discuss the proposals in person. Rather than having one New Traveller meeting organised by a few people I think that it would be far more effective if as many people as possible were to contact them immediately. This is for two reasons;

1/ More people get their views across and heard.

2/ We are able to slow the process down and this allows more chance for us to stop the changes in the policy being a complete disaster.

Even if you don't end up attending a meeting, an email, letter or phone call to the following contact would help. The minimum it has to say is that you are interested in attending an oral consultation and want more information. Anymore than this would of course be great, and in particular letting them know the following would be good;

- Where they should hold such meetings (the policy only applies to England, but the more different places the better)?

- Who they should invite? (remember the more people the better!!)

- What should of meetings should they be? (it would be more effective if lots of smaller meetings were held).

- When then meetings should be? (At the moment they want to do these meetings in the second half of july, it is totally worth pointing out that its festival season and many people are away working, its a bad time of year, perhaps it should be later in the year? this is all good as it keeps slowing them down).

At best we can have some input on the policies that affect our community. At a minimum we will have slowed down the process and made a point (its almost like a virtual tree protest if you like). The man to contact is;

Paul Williams

0303 44 40000 or by email at paul.williams at

Planning: Economy and Society Division

Department for Communities and Local Government

Zone 1/G6, Eland House, Bressenden Place



I'm in the process of writing a formal written response to the consultation under the guise of the New Traveller Association. This is being formed at the moment, and there is more about this below. I will send this out when its finished and it would be great if as many people as possible wanted to put their names to it (if they agree of course). By doing this we can demonstrate that there are a number of New Travellers who need recognition by the Government.

Legal aid

The legal aid bill proposes to get rid of legal aid for all evictions. This means that no one will be able to get TAT or others to represent them. Without legal aid for evictions we really are screwed. There won't be much point going to court as if the council or whoever win (as they always will eventually) they will be able to get costs out of people. In this case please can you sign the following petition;

Its important to validate the petition after by email (it may be in your spam box).

The New Traveller Association

This is being formed at the moment. Its not meant to be anything more than a means to express opinions from a New Traveller perspective formally to Government and a way of getting information out like above. The draft mission statement is as follows. This is just a means of making the organisation look together if it applies for funding etc;

Mission statement – "To promote the rights of New Travellers to have the ability to enjoy a nomadic existence and access suitable accommodation".


Aims and objectives;

 To ensure that New Travellers are kept on the Government's Gypsy and Traveller policy agenda by making representations regarding policy and practise.

-     To ensure that the community is kept up to date with the law, and changes that may affect it.

-     To campaign for the recognition of New Travellers as a separate cultural group to ethnic Gypsies and Travellers.

-     To work with other Gypsy and Traveller groups and organisations to promote the rights of all nomadic people in the UK.

It will need some board members, anyone interested let me know.

Nice one,


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