Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Leeds GATE Blog

Our new conversation about Gypsy and Traveller encampments is picking up speed!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  November 20, 2016 |

A review of newspaper headlines over several decades indicates strong public interest in Gypsy and Traveller encampments, but very little variation, if any, in the public narratives on the issue.  Every single year for decades there has been at least one parliamentary debate and a plethora of written parliamentary questions.  All saying exactly the same things!

Perhaps this lack of progress is not really surprising.  After all, the whole point about camps is that they are transitory.  The camp moves, everyone calms down and some other local issue takes centre stage.  We usually see a little flurry at election time but apart from that no single residents group, or MP or ward councillor maintains their interest for long.

But change can happen, we have seen that in Leeds alone where the cost savings from our new ‘negotiated stopping’ approach have been really significant, especially at a time when surely every authority would rather be keeping care homes or libraries open than throwing cash at a never ending merry-go-around.

Next article: "Molly's Adventures with Travellers - Learning Lessons?"

Molly's Adventures with Travellers - Learning Lessons?

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  November 17, 2016 |

About a year ago I released the last of a set of short illustrated stories.  These featured a precocious girl, Molly, and her observations of how Gypsies and Travellers are treated in various situations.  Her naïve but challenging questions hopefully brought out some of the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of racist attitudes and practices.  I thought a year later it was worth looking at them again and asking what would happen if nothing was learnt. 

Previous article: "Our new conversation about Gypsy and Traveller encampments is picking up speed!"

Next article: "Hertfordshire Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment launches independent website for victims of racial abuse"

Who wants to go to a meeting?

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  November 3, 2016 |

Sometimes we have to arrange or go to meetings.  It can be the only obvious way of discussing issue A or finding solution B.  Very often this is not the case though and so many agencies, GATE included, might be guilty in having meetings where something different would work best for all.

 

There are two things worth challenging; language and format.  Too often meetings are set up in a way which is not welcoming or inclusive.  Plenty of our members, and I am sure this is the case for many excluded people, may automatically be put off by the idea of formal discussions which instinctively feel anything but equal.  Where the meeting happens matters.  As does who leads the discussion.  And when this happens.  And who picks the topics of discussion.  These key elements are got wrong so often.

Next article: "On Buzzwords and Played Out Terminology"

On Buzzwords and Played Out Terminology

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  November 2, 2016 |

The technical term for what I might call a ‘buzzword’, whose usefulness has expired is to say that the word has become an ‘empty signifier’.  It’s original meaning has been scooped out by overuse, or misuse, and it becomes a degraded brand even though the original concept or principle that the word describes might remain as important as ever.  People are potentially steered away from the principle because the describing word or phrase has become devalued.  Sometimes the word actually does somehow capture more currency than the idea behind it deserves, or is simply a catchy re-naming of a tired method. In this blog I am exploring the power of words and how minority groups like ours can use words to create change.

Previous article: "Who wants to go to a meeting?"

Next article: "3 Week Work Placement Opportunity"

3 Week Work Placement Opportunity

By Teresa Birtle |  October 31, 2016 |

Are you bored of sitting at home and would like some work experience?Well GATE is the place for you.If you are aged between 15-18 and would like a 3 week placement at GATE and a up to date C.V to help you find yourself a job please fill in this form   and send it back to me by my email teresa@leedsgate.co.uk by the 14th of November and if you are successfull candidate you will be given  a call so please remember to p

Next article: "Mary Street Residents Meet MP Imran Hussain"

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