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

Gypsies, Travellers, Police and Councils to talk Unauthorised Encampment.

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  February 3, 2016 |

A Roadside CampRoadside unauthorised encampment by Gypsy and Traveller families is a thorny issue on all sides of the debate.  Gypsy and Traveller families speak of being harassed by continual eviction and loss of their human rights, whilst politicians and media issue soundbites in defence of local communities reportedly invaded by anti-social strangers. Meanwhile the standard ‘zero tolerance’ approach to encampment continues to bite into local budgets without hope of a solution in sight.

On 25th February 2016 an important conference - Reducing cost and conflict around unauthorised Traveller encampments – challenges and opportunities, will take place at the Resource for London centre on Holloway Road. 

The event will be a rare opportunity for Gypsies and Travellers to get together with professionals who manage roadside camps such as council and police officers. Conference Chair, PC Jim Davies of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association says 

“Overstretched public service budgets can no longer sustain the endless cycle of encampment and eviction, described as a lose/lose game of cat and mouse.  Everyone involved in this situation, staff, Gypsy/Traveller people and local communities have much to gain from talking about the issues together”

Helen Jones CEO of leading Gypsy/Traveller group – Leeds GATE – who have brought the event together, said “this is a rare chance for Gypsy and Traveller people and front-line officers to influence the way that roadside camps are managed in a fair and open discussion, a small number of assisted places are available for Gypsy and Traveller community members”

Speakers from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Dept of Communities and Local Government, the Travellers Advice Team and De Montford university will set the current legal and policy context before the conference explores case study examples from around the country and delegates have a chance to get stuck into the details of delivering best practice in this difficult and contentious aspect of life in UK. 

For agenda, speaker details and booking information see here and for details of how to apply for community places please contact Leeds GATE on 01132402444

Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (Leeds GATE) is an award winning community led civil society organisation for Gypsies and Travellers in West Yorkshire.  www.leedsgate.co.uk @LeedsGATE

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