Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

0113 240 2444

Crown Point House,
167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

Leeds GATE Blog

Traveller Education – A discussion worth having

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 8, 2016 |

Tomorrow Leeds GATE will participate in a powerful discussion about Gypsy and Traveller education.  This will be called an Outcomes Based Accountability session, at which actual goals will hopefully be set.  Whilst focused on Leeds, the learning and ideas coming from this will naturally have wider implications.  Involved in the debate will be a number of different partners, all key to education of Gypsy and Traveller education, including representatives from various parts of the Council, schools and community members themselves.  We certainly look forward to contributing, and learning, a lot. 

Next article: "Negotiated Stopping Conference – thoughts and hopes"

Negotiated Stopping Conference – thoughts and hopes

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 7, 2016 |

We have had just over a week now to take stock of the conference Leeds GATE held last week about managing unauthorised encampments.  This is obviously a massive issue for us, particularly the opportunity to explain, promote and hopefully export the model of Negotiated Stopping we have developed here in Leeds.  Firstly thanks again to everyone; whether they be colleague, speaker or delegate, for making it such a successful event. 

 

The first thing which struck me as so positive was the depth and breadth of attendees and speakers.   We had delegates from across the country, representing, Local Authorities, police and other agencies.  Their very presence suggested an interest at finding new and better ways at managing unauthorised encampments.  Clearly many have concluded that cycles of eviction, so often the policy applied, is not perhaps helpful for anyone and that alternatives must be actively considered.   

Next article: "Save Accommodation Needs Assessments!"

Save Accommodation Needs Assessments!

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 4, 2016 |

Sorry to bang on about Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments but they really are important and really are under threat.  The issue is timely again as the GTANA’s potential deletion is up for debate in Parliament next week; if you think this is a bad idea then now is the time to say something!

 

As Leeds GATE and other organisations have been drawing attention to in recent weeks, the Housing and Planning Bill has a crucial clause, namely 115, which proposes to effectively end GTANAs.  With the obligation on Local Authorities to undertake these removed, it is likely many will simply stop, particularly those already poor at identifying pitch need, let alone providing this.  Sadly so far these arguments have been largely ignored by the Government.  Fortunately there is a proposed amendment to this crucial clause which attempts to keep GTANAs alive.  It needs our help. 

 

Next article: "Welcome Karla!"

Welcome Karla!

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  February 29, 2016 |

Leeds GATE are pleased to welcome our new student placement Karla Turek to join our team.  Karla will mostly be working alongside Ben doing frontline advocacy though will also get involved in other events and projects.  She will be with us for a few months and hopefully in this time she will get a meet, and work with, a lot of you.   Please do help us welcome her to GATE and together we can ensure she has a really rewarding placement, particularly in learning about the community and its strengths.

Karla has already settled in well and said the following about her first week here:

"First week a success! 

I am happy to say that regardless of my initial nervousness, the first week at GATE has been successful! The minute I stepped through the door, friendliness and welcoming surrounded me, both from the staff and the community members. I would describe GATE as a big family. The office is always open and staff never fail to make time for each other and the members. Sometimes it's a matter of advocacy, but at times simply holding their child whilst they make a phone call. 

Next article: "Anti-Advocacy Clause - Must speak up!"

Anti-Advocacy Clause - Must speak up!

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  February 26, 2016 |

The Government’s Anti-Advocacy Clause – A worrying development

 

An anti-advocacy clause was quietly announced by DCLG earlier this month.  This clause specifically relates to Government grant agreements made with charities.  Whilst Leeds GATE does not currently receive funding directly from the UK Government, we feel it is important to explain this policy’s risks for the whole charity sector and indeed all the people who benefit from their work. 

 

Firstly, I would state that explanations and criticism of this clause have already been made far clearer and more detailed than I can hope to make.  I note in particular the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and their recent blog on this here

which is a great place to find out a bit more.  In a nutshell though what the Government is stating is that from May charities and other organisations will no longer be allowed to spend government grants on lobbying.  This is not a small change in policy and it strikes me again as incredible how much attention such a proposal has got.

Next article: "Too much fun in the office?! "

Pages