After months of uncertainty, the DCLG Secretary of State Eric Pickles finally made a statement on the 25th of March which suggests the proposals to change the planning definition of Travellers have been scrapped. However the DCLG still intend to publish guidance setting out the powers public bodies have in dealing with unauthorised encampments.
Blocking these changes was the result of pressures from Lib Dem politicians. Minister David Laws took an interest in this issue after reading the responses to the public consultation which took place last year. In his letter to DCLG he said he was ‘concerned about the strength of feeling against the proposals’ and that they would require ‘further reflection to ensure negative unintended consequences can be avoided’
This is a great success for all those who submitted comments and were involved in the We Still Count campaign, as it shows that voicing your concerns can really have a big impact on the government’s policies.
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
Trust For London
The Henry Smith Charity
Hackney Positive Activities
BBC Children in Need
The Mercers' Company
Canary Wharf Group