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

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?! "

Too much fun in the office?!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  February 19, 2016 |

Work is supposed to be hard isn’t it? 

But is GATE work?  Is it a building with people all doing work in it? 

As I began thinking about this blog, prompted by the picture ‘Little Jim, Ellie and Jukels (dogs)’, the scene below, ‘Jimmy, Jerry, Thomas and Billy’, happened in front of me.  I asked the boys what happens at GATE and they said its “where Gypsies and Travellers get united”!  

Next article: "Whose history? Communities telling their own stories of activism"

Housing and planning bill – This really does matter

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  February 15, 2016 |

Buried amongst many other parts of the news, even for those who keep a relatively close eye on politics, is the importance of the Housing and Planning Bill currently working through Parliament.  Of particular concern is the proposed removal of obligations on Local Authorities to undertake specific Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments.  Whilst on the surface a dry and technical point, the potential implications of this Bill for Gypsy and Travellers really must be spelt out.

We raise this issue now as in the coming weeks a further opportunity to make important amendments arises, as the Bill is discussed in the Lords.  Unfortunately in previous discussions in the Commons various proposed changes were largely rejected, overlooked or watered down.  Sadly because there are so many other legitimate concerns with this bill, whether over social housing, rent rules or wider planning, serious flaws relating to Gypsies and Travellers are easily overlooked. 

So what is the problem with removing GTNAAs? 

 

 

Next article: "Screenings and Immunisations – Trust and communication in the health service"

Pages