Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

General News

Could you evaluate our Social Media activity?

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  September 10, 2015 |

Leeds GATE social media activityLeeds GATE invests time into its website, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts as part of our communication activity. We need to evaluate the effectiveness of our social media activity and seek recommendations for improvement.

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Dementia in Gypsy and Traveller communities

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  September 7, 2015 |

Dr. Mary Tilki working with Leeds GATE
Dr. Mary Tilki is working with Leeds GATE raising awareness and understanding of dementia

By Dr Mary Tilki

Although dementia is generally understood as an older age-related condition, and, Gypsies and Travellers generally have a very low life expectancy, there is growing evidence of dementia in these communities.  Gypsies and Travellers (referred to here as Travellers for brevity) are known to experience extremely poor health. The nature of these illnesses such as cardio-vascular disease, depression and anxiety has the potential to increase the risk of dementia.  Social factors related to the living conditions and experience of travelling people add to these risks and make it more difficult for people with memory loss to cope with the condition.  Similarly these matters impact on the ability of family and community to cope, although their willingness to do so is strong.

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Minister Brandon Lewis to force Gypsy/Traveller families to ‘travel permanently’

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  August 31, 2015 |

Permanently on the move?We hear today (31st August) via the Daily Mail of course, that Gypsies and Travellers will now have to prove they are ‘permanently travelling’ in order to qualify as ‘travellers’ for the purposes of planning law.  Its not a surprise, Eric Pickles and Brandon Lewis tried to bring in this policy in the dying days of the coalition. It was stopped the [roadside] n at the final moment by a Liberal MP who actually read what the Association of Chief Police Officers had to say on the matter.  Like ourselves and many others ACPO were against the idea on the basis that it will cause them a policing nightmare to have to deal with so many families having to take ‘permanently’ to the roadsides just in order to be able to continue living in caravans.  By this new definition many of the people living on Gypsy and Traveller sites across the country wont technically qualify to be there because they don’t travel permanently (the new guidance is rather vague about what is actually permanent but hint at at least a couple of months of the year being mobile).

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Winners and losers in the English Planning system

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  August 25, 2015 |

Visiting a potential site location in Hunslet
The planning inspector visits a site application location in hunslet, Leeds. The application was refused.

Our colleagues at Traveller Movement have just released some figures, gleaned from the Department of Communities and Local Government, about the success or otherwise of planning applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites.

The figures make for interesting, if disappointing, reading. The data confirms what many of us had already suspected; that Gypsy and Traveller applications face a disproportionately tougher time in the planning process. The complete data set from DCLG can be found here; and the report from Traveller Movement here

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Negotiation is better than litigation for Gypsy/Traveller camps

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  August 24, 2015 |

Encampment on Holdback MoorAs was reported this week in the YEP there was a recent encampment down on Holbeck Moor. This has just moved on but I would like to provide a brief response to the article and comment on the wider approach taken towards roadside camps.

Firstly, it is worth reflecting on how long it has been since we have read an article like this. A few years back it was difficult to go many weeks, particularly over summer months, without reports, usually very negative, of another encampment. Put aside debate over the style and tone of such articles, it is a positive that there has been less about ‘problem’ camps in the Leeds area, largely perhaps because there have been fewer deemed ‘newsworthy’.

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