Gypsy Roma Traveller Leeds
The permanent site of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Communities
Leeds West MP John Battle's shows his awareness of Traveller issues.
Mayor's Visit to Cottingley.
The late, great Tommy Doherty did an incredible amount to promote Travellers and seek justice and equal treatment. His death was upsetting to everyone who knew him.
The programme of hedging in, between 1700 and 1890 of 20% of England and Wales, including 2 million acres of common Land, forced many rural people into the towns and cities as they were unable to survive without access to common land, this also impacted heavily on the Gypsy and Traveller communities as it removed their traditional stopping places.
The Enclosure Act 1857 created the offence of injury or damage to village greens and interruption to its use or enjoyment as a place of exercise and recreation.
The Commons Act 1876 makes encroachment or enclosure of a village green, and interference with or occupation of the soil unlawful unless it is with the aim of improving enjoyment of the green.
Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 states that no occupier of land shall cause or permit the land to be used as a caravan site unless he is the holder of a site licence. It also enables a district council to make an order prohibiting the stationing of caravans on common land, or a town or village green.
These acts had the overall effect of preventing travellers using the vast majority of their traditional stopping places.
The Caravan Sites Act 1968 required local authorities to provided caravan sites for travellers, if there were a demonstrated need. This was resisted by many councils who would claim that there were no Gypsies living in their areas. The result was that insufficient pitches were provided for travellers, leading to the situation whereby holders of a pitch could no longer travel, for fear of losing it. The Cottingley Springs Caravan Site was the first official site built by Leeds City Council as a response to this act.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 removed the duty of local councils to provide authorised pitches and gave the Council and Police powers to move travellers on, subject to certain welfare issues. The official response of the government was that travellers should buy land and apply for planning permission to occupy it. However, those that did so found it extremely difficult to get planning permission, with more than 90% of applications by travellers refused.
The original Cottingley Springs Caravan Site was the first 'Official' site for Travellers built by Leeds City Council in 1969. It was a response to the Caravan Sites Act 1968 which made it the responsibility of every local authority to provide sites for those Travellers that "reside or resort to their area".
Read more about the Cottingley sites
The good practice has been designed as a framework to assist key service providers, such as housing, to involve Irish Travellers and Gypsies in decision-making and planning through effective consultations and partnership work, in line with mainstream tenancy participation practice. Many of the recommendations based on general models of good practise in working with BME communities.
The BSHF (Building and Social Housing Foundation) has recently published a new report 'Out in the Open : Providing Accommodation, Promoting Understanding and Recognising Rights of Gypsies and Travellers'.
This is a collection of twenty-six photographs illustrating the diversity of accommodation used by the Traveller communities. Photo exercises are targeted at KS2 but the photos provide useful information about the Traveller communities for pupils at KS3/4.
It is produced by The Traveller Education Support Service, METAT, SSPDC, Pauls Road, Opswich, Suffolk IP2 0AN.
Dale Farm, the biggest encampment of Gypsies in Britain, with about 1,000 people, is under threat.
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