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Talking about Gypsies and Travellers Michael Hargreaves, Irish Traveller Movement in Britain.

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Presentation on theme: "Talking about Gypsies and Travellers Michael Hargreaves, Irish Traveller Movement in Britain."— Presentation transcript:

1 Talking about Gypsies and Travellers Michael Hargreaves, Irish Traveller Movement in Britain

2 Will cover The challenge to Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ITMB Research Findings The local narrative – Chorley, South Cambs & Basildon

3 Bigger, Fatter, Gypsier






9 The Advertising Standards Agency Review 372 initial complaints to ASA dismissed out of hand ITMB and Howe & Co lodged an appeal to the independent ASA adjudicator He asked ASA to undertake a formal review

10 Findings The campaign was irresponsible, endorsed prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers, was guilty of depicting a child in a sexualised way, and was likely to have caused mental & moral harm to children Central to the finding was the evidence of the impact on bullying, attacks on girls in schools The first time a regulatory body has recognised prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers

11 That was the posters Ofcom has now announced an investigation of the programmes as a whole

12 Planning for Gypsies & Travellers: The Impacts of Localism, June 11 content/uploads/2011/09/ITMB_Planning_for_Gypsie s_and_Travellers11.pdf content/uploads/2011/09/ITMB_Planning_for_Gypsie s_and_Travellers11.pdf Responses from 100 councils in 3 regions With RS abolition the 3 regions the targets they recognised to fall from 2,919 to 1,395 – 52% 40% of respondents expressed concerns about increased local opposition to development for Travellers under a community based planning system

13 Planning for Gypsies & Travellers: The Impacts of Localism Communities believe they can expect to have proposals they oppose rejected Widespread delay & uncertainty among LPAs in progressing their development plans Reticence to go beyond defining criteria to identifying and allocating sites

14 Gypsy & Traveller Site Funding under the Coalition, March 2012 content/uploads/2012/03/HCA-Site-Funding- Report-v.62.pdf content/uploads/2012/03/HCA-Site-Funding- Report-v.62.pdf £60m Traveller Pitch Fund - January 2012 £47m of grants 110 transit, replacement, Showpeople. So 510, not 620. No relationship between need & allocations. Parts of the Midlands, SW, Yorks, NE did reasonably well.

15 Gypsy & Traveller Site Funding under the Coalition Many areas unwilling to bid. Essex, Kent, Cambs, Surrey, Herts 25% of caravans, 4% of funds Unitaries 46% of new site funds Housing Associations not interested Too many extensions Sites identified for less than half new pitches, less than 20% have permission

16 Chorley 1 Council consistently claimed no Travellers in Chorley Reflects sites provided after 1968 Act But also lack of knowledge Officers afraid to engage No change with change of leadership Residents paid for own barrister

17 Chorley 2 2 appeals, continued objection after CLG conceded 2 nd inspectors report unsound, prosecution for non compliance, seeking an injunction Tenacity, fear of unsafe sites Stress, health impacts

18 South Cambs 1 No town, 101 parish councils Significant Gypsy & Traveller numbers, lots of temporary permissions Smithy Fen, Willingham, Fen Road 2 public sites – all 29 pitches English Gypsies Local plan work put aside – lost the opportunity to include in major developments

19 South Cambs 2 New needs assessment Trying to reopen a 10 pitch site against massive local opposition, so it can address local issues in Willingham & Smithy Fen OK to give 2 nd & 3 rd temporary permissions and move people around

20 Reopening Mettle Hill Notorious travellers’site set to reopen. A travellers’ site which was shut down when it became a hotbed of crime and vandalism is set to reopen Taxpayers to pay £3m for travellers’ sites Coachloads of villagers oppose travellers’ site MP: ‘Keep Traveller site shut’


22 Some Comments by Councillors Mervyn Loynes - I’d put a minefield around all of them Deborah Roberts – Travellers should be left to stew in raw sewage Would launch a suicide bomb on Smithy Fen, if she had cancer

23 And the Housing Portfolio Holder F*** off Gypos – Councillor Mark Howell Could the County put up some of these? A private joke between friends in the Independent group

24 Basildon Too many Travellers Have acted illegally Rejected opportunity to solve – offer of HCA land Assumed they would disappear Don’t deal with them as people, Traveller liaison officers are enforcement. Compare local police

25 Ministers’ Messages? Pickles pledges ‘to stop the caravans in their tracks’ with new instant stop notices. ‘ You know the story: in breach of planning law, travellers move in over a bank holiday weekend and it takes years for councils to remove them ’ £1.2m grant for the eviction A widespread perception that the system is unfair and that it is easier for one group to gain permission, particularly on sensitive Green Belt

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