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

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”!  

Whose history? Communities telling their own stories of activism

By Vanessa Cardui |  February 17, 2016 |


A landmark eviction case, Connors v. United Kingdom, which went to the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 and was an eventual victory for Travellers, attracts the TV cameras

As the new Archives and Heritage person at Leeds GATE, I’ve been spending lots of time digging through the material that will eventually become GATE’s Archive of Gypsy and Traveller history. And I’ve noticed that some of the most interesting items we’ve got are about the struggles for Gypsies’ and Travellers’ rights. There’s photos of Travellers speaking at public events; minutes of 1980s Council meetings debating policy on Gypsies; collections of newspaper cuttings going back to the 60s about Traveller issues; videos of Travellers discussing how they are treated and what needs to change; and lots more. It's all really interesting - and it's important too, and that's why we're asking everyone who knows Leeds GATE to help us collect more of it. Read on to find out why and how!

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

Ben Chastney's picture
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. 

Pages