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London Assembly says "Follow Leeds example on Gypsies" to Mayor Boris

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  January 15, 2015 |

Boris JohnsonThe city of Leeds is leading the way on managing Gypsy and Traveller encampments according to the London Assembly following an enquiry by its Housing Committee and has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to follow our example. In a letter to the Mayor[1], the Assembly highlights innovative work being done elsewhere, which could be replicated in London.

Leeds City Council is saving £200,000 a year by introducing ‘toleration zones’, temporary sites for Gypsies and Travellers. In doing so, they have reduced crime and challenged the idea gypsy sites are beset by crime.

The Housing Committee recommends releasing land held by the Mayor, better coordination between councils and more knowledge of available funds to improve the situation.

Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee, said:

“London’s diversity is supposed to be its strength, but boroughs and the Mayor are falling well behind some of the outstanding work being done elsewhere.

“A pilot scheme, like the innovative system put in place in Leeds, could radically improve the lives of Gypsies and Travellers, while ensuring a balance with existing communities’ wishes.”

[1] You can read the full letter from the London Assembly to Mayor Johnson.

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