Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Leeds GATE Blog

No Place to Call Home? - Katherine Quarmby's new book is well worth reading

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By Ben Chastney |  January 3, 2014 |

No place to call home coverI recently had the pleasure of reading Katharine Quarmby’s excellent book No place to call home.  At risk of sounding like empty promotion, suffice to say that this is a well informed and thought provoking piece.  Crucially though, it reinforces some important points about the Gypsy and Traveller community and their struggle for safe, secure and appropriate accommodation.  These lessons are worth noting whilst GATE and others continue to work towards this goal.

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Putting the holiday season into perspective

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By Ben Chastney |  January 3, 2014 |

TV adverts and Hollywood show us a narrow image of what a Christmas or New Year holiday should have looked like.  Whilst we might not accept this viewpoint wholeheartedly , most take much of it for granted; whether the presents under the tree, turkey dinner or rush to the sales.  I think it is worth reflecting that for many of the Gypsy and Traveller community, it is actually a particularly difficult time of year.  However, there are many positives also worth keeping keep in mind.

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Negotiated Stopping versus Transit Sites – what’s the difference?

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By Helen Jones |  November 25, 2013 |

CaravansImagine you need somewhere safe and authorised to temporarily park your caravan. This might be because you have nowhere where you are officially able to stay permanently in your caravan due to gross under provision of such places.  Or it may be that you are ‘travelling’ as part of your inherited cultural traditions despite having an ‘authorised’ site, or even a house, elsewhere.

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Scrap licences – a frustrating lottery

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By Ben Chastney |  October 17, 2013 |

Scrap Metal LicencesI feel it is in my job description to get annoyed at government rules and how they affect our members. Rarely have I felt I was meeting my weekly frustration quota than when encountering the new scrap metal laws and related licences. As always, there is a combination of head scratching at the various forms involved and resentment at how the law so disproportionately affects Gypsies and Travellers. 

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As easy as ABCD! (Asset Based Community Development)

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By Helen Jones |  October 7, 2013 |

Asset Based Community DevelopmentFlourishing communities are those where everyone has someone to talk to, neighbours look out for each other, people have pride and satisfaction with where they live and feel able to influence decisions about their area. Residents are able to access green and open space, feel safe going out and there are places and opportunities that bring people together. –from A Glass Half Full – How an asset approach can improve community health and wellbeing (I&DEA)

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