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

Camps

Our new conversation about Gypsy and Traveller encampments is picking up speed!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  November 20, 2016 |

A review of newspaper headlines over several decades indicates strong public interest in Gypsy and Traveller encampments, but very little variation, if any, in the public narratives on the issue.  Every single year for decades there has been at least one parliamentary debate and a plethora of written parliamentary questions.  All saying exactly the same things!

Perhaps this lack of progress is not really surprising.  After all, the whole point about camps is that they are transitory.  The camp moves, everyone calms down and some other local issue takes centre stage.  We usually see a little flurry at election time but apart from that no single residents group, or MP or ward councillor maintains their interest for long.

But change can happen, we have seen that in Leeds alone where the cost savings from our new ‘negotiated stopping’ approach have been really significant, especially at a time when surely every authority would rather be keeping care homes or libraries open than throwing cash at a never ending merry-go-around.

Next article: "Molly's Adventures with Travellers - Learning Lessons?"

Negotiation all set to continue!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  April 25, 2016 |

....Whilst local communities, local government, and local police services invest their efforts into removing camps, we see that daily problems which create difficulties for communities trying to live well together, go unaddressed... 

Leeds GATE are delighted that Esmee Fairbairn Foundation will be funding us for the next three years to continue to work to improve responses to roadside camps.

Next article: "An Evaluation of Negotiated Stopping 2016"

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. 

Next article: "Gypsies and Travellers and memory loss - new guide to be launched soon"

Negotiation is better than litigation for Gypsy/Traveller camps

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  August 24, 2015 |

Encampment on Holdback MoorAs was reported this week in the YEP there was a recent encampment down on Holbeck Moor. This has just moved on but I would like to provide a brief response to the article and comment on the wider approach taken towards roadside camps.

Firstly, it is worth reflecting on how long it has been since we have read an article like this. A few years back it was difficult to go many weeks, particularly over summer months, without reports, usually very negative, of another encampment. Put aside debate over the style and tone of such articles, it is a positive that there has been less about ‘problem’ camps in the Leeds area, largely perhaps because there have been fewer deemed ‘newsworthy’.

Previous article: "Winners and losers in the English Planning system"

Next article: "New Traveller Sites? We need your views"