Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

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? 

 

 

Screenings and Immunisations – Trust and communication in the health service

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By Ben Chastney |  February 5, 2016 |

A recent meeting about screenings and immunisations got me thinking about the interaction of the health service with vulnerable people and groups.  Broadly speaking this was a useful event for all, both for those with a medical or community interest.  It does seem that we as a country are relatively strong in the uptake and coverage of immunisations against countless diseases and effective screening against various conditions.  There are exceptions however.

 

Notably, the gaps in take-up are most often those with certain characteristics, such as mental health difficulties, and come from vulnerable or isolated groups.  Other examples include asylum seekers, sex workers, children in local authority care and prisoners.  Despite the great variation amongst these people, the common theme is about engagement with the health service or rather the obstacles to this.  Put simply, those with less positive interaction with surgeries, health visitors, hospitals etc. are less likely to know about, understand, trust or in practice get access to immunisations or screenings. 

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. 

Gypsies and Travellers and memory loss - new guide to be launched soon

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  January 26, 2016 |

For some time now Leeds Gypsy and Traveller families have been working with friends and colleagues from the Irish in Britain Cuimhne (Irish Memory Loss Alliance) to produce a good practice guide for service providers  and commissioners to raise awareness and improve services  for Gypsies and Travellers experiencing memory loss (Alzheimers and dementia).

Recording history – Exciting times at GATE

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By Ben Chastney |  January 21, 2016 |


exciting times in the Leeds GATE Archive...

As GATE gets back into full flow in 2016, it is always good to highlight some of the more positive things we have to look forward to. In recent weeks much of the focus, quite rightly, has been on the floods over Christmas and the ongoing challenges faced in the clear-up or preventing repeated disasters. However there is exciting new work going on at GATE; one which I want to mention in particular is our new heritage worker Vanessa Cardui and the heritage project she is leading on.

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