Gypsy Roma Traveller Leeds
The permanent site of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Communities
The tradition wagon may not be as common as it once was, but like vintage cars and motorcycles many fine examples are maintained and used for showing off as well as for their original purposes.
It was very exciting for Leeds Voice and TAG Action Group that 110th Lord Mayor of Leeds Neil Taggard accepted our invitation to visit Cottingley Springs Site on 27th April 2004.
The Lord Mayor visiting the TES Mobile Nursery Bus on Cottingley Site.
The weather - it was pouring with rain, enough to drown anybody but it couldn’t drown the Lord Mayor’s or the Travellers spirit that day.
Eileen Lowther, a prominent resident of the site received the Lord and Lady Mayoress, Laura who is Neil’s sister. After the Lord and Lady Mayoress were introduced to Councillor Clair Nash, the local ward councillor and the key members of the Housing needs group the Lord Mayor soon mingled and talked to the Travellers. The Lord Mayor toured the site and spoke to the residents about their needs, discrimination, policing issues and how they generally fitted into the city scene. The Lord Mayor witnessed the children accessing the Education bus and also had the privilege to enter and see a couple of caravans.
The Lord Mayor’s visit was a huge success The Travellers hope that future Mayors might make it an annual event.
|The Mayor chats with residents|
For me, I think that God works in a mysterious way – rather than us asking for a building to hold meetings and other functions, the rain that soaked everyone drew the civic dignitaries and Housing Needs officials to a consensus that, there is an urgent need to have a community building.
In 1987 Cottingley Springs New Site was built for a further twenty families. This was a good site in that all the families had their own plot with their own facilities in a utility block including, a washroom, bathroom, toilet and electric point for the trailer.
The old site was refurbished with toilets for each plot holder, built in blocks on the site. This was a temporary measure whilst plans were made for further council provision.