The battle continues .....the depressing news is that the government has finally pushed through all their changes to the Travellers planning policy and the change to the definition even though the majority of responses to last year's consultation came from Travellers. See the link to the announcement – made on the August bank holiday Monday.
The change of definition threatens to take away fundamental human rights from Gypsies and Travellers in Britain and across London. The new proposals will mean any Gypsy or Traveller who lives in a fixed residence – whether out of choice or because of reasons of health, education or old age – will permanently lose their status as a Gypsy or Traveller. This legislation will have knock on effects on the number of people who are officially recognised as members of the Gypsy and Traveller community and as such will impact on the provisions made by local authorities for these communities.
Watch this space – we will continue with our We Still Count campaign.
Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) in June this year was the occasion for our first ever office ‘open day’. We invited people and passersby to come in and find out about our current projects and services, and provided the opportunity to celebrate and discover more about Gypsy and Traveller culture and the work we do in seeking to support, empower and represent London’s Gypsy and Traveller communities
We launched a fundraising appeal in February this year to help with covering our core costs. Click here to find out more how you can support our work.
Our short animated film describing the steps to take to becoming self-employed, which was commissioned by and for the Gypsy and Traveller Community, is receiving a lot of welcomed positive feedback. Click on the picture to the right or go to our YouTube channel to view it. We are planning to produce two more films in this series; so watch this space!
The London Gypsy and Traveller Unit supports Travellers and Gypsies living in London: to influence decisions affecting their lives; to improve their quality of life and the opportunities available to them and to challenge the discrimination they routinely experience. In partnership with the Traveller community, LGTU uses this detailed experience to contribute to the development of local, regional and national policy.
What do we do?
- Accommodation and Advocacy Advice - An advocacy and advice service to Gypsies and Travellers living on sites and in houses, on accommodation, benefits and access to services.
- Community Development - Support on sites, particularly in relation to site provision and site management, and setting up residents associations.
- Youth Programme – For young Travellers in North and East London, including group work, and courses in personal development. LGTU is NEET registered.
- Campaigning for New Sites in London - Supporting Travellers in responding to London boroughs plans and pitch proposals based on our work responding to the Mayors London Plan.
- Media Work - Promotion of positive and fair media coverage of Traveller issues. Work with the media and Gypsies and Travellers, to challenge negative coverage and promote a fair representation of their views.
- INSET Training and Services on a commisioned basis coordinated by LGTU staff and using specialist associates for local authority services and other agencies.
- Research - In relation to issues arising from work on the ground, or on a commissioned basis. Also routinely respond to requests by other researchers to facilitate consultation with the community.
- Strategy Work and Policy Development - We work to influence change in policy at a national level, regional and local level by supporting Gypsy and Traveller representations in consultations. We continue to campaign for pitch targets to be set by the London Mayor and monitor the compliance by local authorities with the government’s planning policy for Traveller sites.
- Advice and information - To agencies, professionals, community groups, the media and students. We have a number of resources available for sale.
Our latest Annual Report 2014 describes another successful year for the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit where we continued to support, empower and represent Gypsies and Travellers at all levels.
Previous Annual Reports
Many thanks to our Current Funders
Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme
The Henry Smith Charity
Trust for London
Hackney Postitive Activities
BBC Children in Need
The Mercer's Company
Canary Wharf Group
The Goldsmith's Company
The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
Wakefield and Tetley Trust
Tower Hamlets Council