Leeds GATE

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Save Accommodation Needs Assessments!

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  March 4, 2016 |

Sorry to bang on about Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments but they really are important and really are under threat.  The issue is timely again as the GTANA’s potential deletion is up for debate in Parliament next week; if you think this is a bad idea then now is the time to say something!

 

As Leeds GATE and other organisations have been drawing attention to in recent weeks, the Housing and Planning Bill has a crucial clause, namely 115, which proposes to effectively end GTANAs.  With the obligation on Local Authorities to undertake these removed, it is likely many will simply stop, particularly those already poor at identifying pitch need, let alone providing this.  Sadly so far these arguments have been largely ignored by the Government.  Fortunately there is a proposed amendment to this crucial clause which attempts to keep GTANAs alive.  It needs our help. 

 

 

The amendment will be discussed in the Lords next week and I am therefore want to remind and plea for everyone with an interest in this issue to get their voice heard now.  I hopefully don’t need to restate that the number of unauthorised encampments is the very likely result of the Bill in its current form; one which carries a significant human and financial cost.  What we need to do is make the Lords aware of, and to be encouraged to vote for, the amendment on clause 115 accordingly. 

 

We have been working alongside Gyspy and Traveller organisations to raise awareness and support for the amendment.  In particular, we at Leeds GATE have been contacting the Bishops in the House of Lords as they have generally expressed sympathy towards our concerns.  There are other Lords who are worth contacting though, either to shift opinions or encourage those already supportive to get out and vote when the time comes.  Please help us spread the word. 

 

Do ask us if want to get involved.  I appreciate that it sounds like such a dry, technical matter, far removed from day to day challenges faced by the community.  However the sad reality is that unless the current plan is reversed, as we are trying to achieve, there will likely be very real and practical consequences felt.  Tragically, these consequences will be felt particularly harshly by those most vulnerable people who are, or will become, roadside.  Let’s try and do something to stop that.

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