Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Change-making! More from our conversations about camps

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  December 13, 2016 |

 Huge thanks to all the delegates at our recent encampments event at the Esmee Fairbairn offices in London.  A great range of viewpoints were represented and a really lively active discussion was had.  Its always a bit scary when you try something new and we weren't sure if some of the interactive elements were going to work but they really did! We want to particularly thank Heidi and Gary from Cronkeyshaw Residents Group and Eileen, Tracey and Alex, Leeds GATE members.  It was a risk to put ourselves into a conversation where we might really disagree with one another, but we did, and it paid off.  Indeed it indicates to us that the way forward toward community cohesion around encampment by Gypsies and Travellers is really about bringing people together and letting them talk the issues out.  The answers to our difficulties are there amongst us, we just need to give ourselves permission to go for it!

What is really encouraging is the growing number of examples of pragmatic solutions being used to manage encampment without continual recourse to legal proceedures to evict.  The European Commission on Racism and Intolerance has recommended to the UK Government that they should develop and promote alternatives to eviction. Despite entrenched cynicism, we are beginning to see that this is really possible, and leads to better outcomes for communities, local residents, Gypsies and Travellers, local budgets and local authorities.  You can find the graphic report of the event below and a film that we have made is here.

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