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Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Leeds GATE Blog

Political apathy – How to break the cycle?

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  November 27, 2014 |

How to break the cycleAs someone previously involved in formal politics I have often considered the ‘what came first’ question when it comes to voter apathy, particularly with respect to marginalised groups. That is, do we blame, or attribute, people not engaging in politics because nobody is appealing to them? Is it rather that politicians fail to appeal to those they do not feel are, or meaningfully could be, engaged? Are there other separate issues at play, such as information and confidence?

This question comes back to me as I prepare to meet some Parliamentary organisers seeking to get disaffected groups more involved in politics. With respect to Gypsies and Travellers, I would firmly argue that many of our members are often politically active, be it in a wider sense. However, I would also concede that involvement in formal politics, as seen in voter registration and even more so in political representation, is particularly low. It is also abundantly clear that the efforts of politicians at almost all levels, to interact with the community are very limited, and efforts to appeal to their interests even more absent. So what came first?

Previous article: "Consultation on new definition of Travellers in Planning - A smokescreen?"

Next article: "Health on the margins - Leeds GATE Conference 2015"

The case for Care Navigation

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  September 11, 2014 |

John Walsh of York Street Health PracticeIn this joint blog, Helen Jones of Leeds GATE and John Walsh of York Street Health Practice argue that the time for care navigators is ripe.

Health and Social Inclusion is a priority. Inclusion work around health and social inequalities usually takes two forms. The first is that we attempt to support people and communities access services. We open new clinics, change times and offer new aspects of the service to support this. The second form is to take services to people and communities - to have outreach clinics and workers. Both forms are valuable and powerful options that can make a real difference. The authors of this article believe that there is a third way which builds on the previous two forms but offers a radical orientation for genuine involvement and change.

Previous article: "Private sites. Get your applications in!"

Next article: "More Urgency in Decisions About Sites Please! "

More Urgency in Decisions About Sites Please!

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  September 2, 2014 |

Waiting too longIt is important to remain positive but when something is not working properly we have to acknowledge this and fight to fix it.  With respect to accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers, both in Leeds and elsewhere, there are certainly ongoing issues worthy of attention.  Underlying concerns GATE and fellow organisations have raised about accommodation issues, whether planning policy, specific applications or negotiated stopping, lies a particular problem; that of urgency.

Previous article: "The case for Care Navigation"

Next article: "Site with 3 year permission for sale in Derbyshire"

Justice for all?

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  July 23, 2014 |

Justice for All? asks Leeds GATEOn recently supporting members in various Court proceedings, some glaring obstacles to fair justice have re-emerged.  Whether serious criminal cases or smaller civil claims, whether defendant or claimant, some big challenges are faced by Gypsies and Travellers.  Of course, the wider observation about unfair treatment of the community in legal processed is well documented.  I rather wish to point out some of the more practical, often smaller technical difficulties, which further undermine access to justice, in addition to these broader discriminatory structures and attitudes.

Previous article: "What now for Gypsy and Traveller sites in Greenbelt, Mr Pickles?"

Next article: "What price a home?"

What price a home?

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  July 23, 2014 |

Traveller Site by Morley ObserverRecent discussions about planning applications, accommodation assessments and allocations policy have brought various issues to the fore.  Whilst all technical and often dry debates they all ultimately boil down to something simple, but essential, finding people a home.  That this continues to prove so difficult is both an indictment of the various systems in play and a tragedy for those individuals without adequate accommodation.

Previous article: "Justice for all?"

Next article: "A Politician's responsibility to be fair"