Thursday, 17 September 2015

Cornwall Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2015

Need a pitch on a Council site? Want to buy your own ground? Tired of being always moved on? This is your chance to have your say. 

Cornwall Council have commissioned an independent assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the county. This piece of work follows on from a flawed assessment carried out in 2014. TravellerSpace and Ruston Planning Limited successfully challenged this assessment at Cornwall Council's Local Plan Examination. The Inspector recognised that it was not developed in conjunction with, or informedby, active engagement with representatives of the Gypsy and Traveller Community in Cornwall, so called for it to be carried out again.

This new study will provide Gypsies and Travellers with a way to speak about their accommodation issues and preferences.

TravellerSpace are working in partnership with Southern Horizons Limited and Dr Zoë James, from Plymouth University to talk with Gypsies and Travellers throughout the county over the next month. The study will focus on permanent pitch provision, but will also look at the need for transit sites and also Gypsies and Travellers currently living in housing.

We need to interview as many people in Cornwall as we can, to give the Council a clear picture of what is needed so Gypsies and Travellers have safe and secure places to stop.

The findings will be analysed by the research team and a written report including pitch/plot calculations will be given to the Council by November 2015.  The study findings are expected to help inform the Local Plan, which is the document that guides what development is to take place in Cornwall. 

We understand that people will be worried about passing on information to the Council, particularly if living on an unauthorised site.

All information given will be completely confidential - nothing will identify who you are or where you currently living to the Council.

There are also some separate questions at the end of the main survey about experiences of prejudice and victimisation.  These do not form part of the Needs Assessment and are purely voluntary if people wish to talk about their experiences.  This information will be used (anonymously) by Dr Zoë James as part of an academic study to inform policy around this important area of work, although a short briefing paper about the findings will be also prepared for Cornwall Council.

Why we think it is important to take part

Despite the changes made by the Government as to who will be considered a Gypsy or Traveller for planning purposes, there is still a need and a duty for Councils to find out how many Gypsies and Travellers are in the area and what their accommodation needs are.

The evidence we gather will help at least some people to get planning permission & may support any case for transit sites. It will show where sites are over crowded and where new pitches will be needed in the future as children grow up and have families of their own.

If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed, might be interested in becoming one of our interviewers, or just want to know more please contact 

Caroline on 07939 210 014 or email


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Travelling Forward

TravellerSpace are able to offer bespoke qualification courses for Gypsy and Traveller young people aged 14 and over, who are not otherwise in education or employment. We can help with travel and child care if needed. Email or ring the number below for more information.

St Day Women's Group Open Day 2015

St Day Gypsy & Traveller Women's Group will be holding their annual open day on the 17th June, 2015. Everyone's welcome to join our celebration of everything the women & children have achieved in the last year and there's lots to be proud of! If you want to come please ring or email to confirm.

Monday, 9 March 2015

On the Move

We're on the move. TravellerSpace's new address is:

Rm 402,
Fourth Floor PZ360,
St Marys Terrace,

TR18 4EB

Tel: 07939 210 014 / 07534 983 046 

The view from our neighbour's office webcam

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2014 - Cornwall Events

TravellerSpace have organised some events for Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month this year. Prior booking for the fil showings is essential as we have limited space.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

First transt site for Cornwall?

Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing are proposing to build a 15 pitch transit site at Horningtops near Liskeard.

There will be a public consultation period followed by the application going through the normal planning process.

 A public exhibition will be held in the Long Room, Public Hall, 3-5 West Street, Liskeard PL14 6BW on Thursday 10 April from 10am to 6pm.

Plymouth Herald article - Gypsy and Traveller site for 15 families planned near Plymouth

Monday, 23 September 2013

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 becomes law on the 1st October.
Damian Le Bas writes about how this will affect Gypsy and Traveller scrap dealers

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

London Gypsy and Traveller Unit have published a useful step by step guide to getting registered (pdf)



Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Reporting Hate Crime in Cornwall

What is Hate Crime? 

 A hate incident is any kind of behaviour that causes fear, alarm or distress where the victim or anyone else feels that they have been targeted because of their racial heritage, religion or beliefs, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. If a criminal offence has been committed a hate incident becomes a hate crime.

This can mean threats, damage to property, verbal abuse, offensive graffiti, harassment and violence. It may be targeted at one person or at a group of people.

 “ I was going to the shop in my wheelchair when a group of people spat at me and called me names, this hurt my feelings.”

“ I was on Facebook when I saw racist comments on a friend’s page and this offended me.”

 “ I was at a nightclub when someone hit me and shouted verbal abuse about the colour of my skin.”

 “ I saw an adoption poster covered in graffiti saying horrible things about same sex couples adopting children.”

 Hate crime in any form is wrong but if it goes unchallenged, it will continue to happen. That is why it is important that if you experience, see or know about hate crime in your community, you should report it. We all need to say NO to hate.

 How can you tell us about it?

 There are lots of ways that you can tell us about it. You don’t have to give your personal details if you don’t want to or provide any evidence. By reporting a hate incident when it happens, you can help us to stop it happening again and we can ask you about any support that you or they may need.

We encourage you to tell person affected the police, but you can also go to one of our reporting centres. We have five reporting centres in Cornwall, where you can talk to trained staff about your experiences and they can give you help and support. They can also help you make a report to the police or any other organisation if you wish to or make a report on your behalf (this is called third party reporting).

 If you have seen it, experienced it, know about it or need help, tell us about it using any of the contacts provided on this website.

TravellerSpace is one of the five organisations in Cornwall designated as third party reporting centres. We aim to overcome reporting barriers for people who may be reluctant to contact the police directly. It enables anyone who experiences or witnesses a hate incident to report it to a third party organisation who will communicate with the police and other agencies on their behalf. It also means that an initial assessment of risk can be made and that you or anyone else affected by the incident can access any support that you need. By making a report to the police, they can also make a decision about whether a crime has been committed (only the police can do this).

 The reporting of hate incidents is important and encouraged but support is offered whether you choose to report or not.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Plymouth Transit Site Approved and Then Dropped

Plans to build a desperately needed transit site in Plymouth have been scrapped, despite having previously getting the go ahead.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Bugle Gypsy Site Gets Green Light

From the Cornish Guardian
A GYPSY family has been given the green light to build a home on land near Bugle - more than a decade after they started searching. On Monday Cornwall Council's central sub-area planning committee approved an application for four mobile homes along with three day rooms, reduced from four after local objection, and four touring caravans at Little Meadow, Lavrean, Bowling Green.  Gemma Halstead, planning officer, told the committee there was a "pressing need for Gypsy and Traveller sites". Council chiefs were told only 47 pitches had been allocated in the former Restormel area up until April last year and a further 56 pitches were needed to meet the provision for Gypsy and Travellers up until 2020. But Treverbyn Parish Council opposed the application and called for it to be deferred pending guidance, which the committee was told, was not required because of recent national planning policy.

 Peter Wyper, parish council chairman, said two appeals to build two dwellings on the land had already been dismissed, and later an appeal to site a bungalow had been rejected. He told councillors the planning officers' report showed Little Meadow was not sustainable, that the structures on the site are obtrusive and that the scheme did not comply with local policy to protect and enhance the environment. "Indeed, on reading the report, the only factor that would recommend this application is the fact that Cornwall Council has failed to meet targets for the provision of Traveller sites." He went on to say that on a recent visit to St Austell the Government's Planning Minister, Nick Boles, had told the audience that the "planning system should be blind to Traveller status".

 But Gypsy rights campaigner Maggie Smith-Bendell, representing the family, told the committee there was a "dire need" for more Gypsy and Traveller provisions, and that for many years Cornwall Council had done "literally nothing" to address this. She said the "private Gypsy site" application was for a "very small family unit to keep their children together". The "perfect piece of land for a Gypsy site does not exist", said the activist of 20 years, but she vowed they would work with the council to make the site less visible. She added: "Families are joining other groups out there on the roadside with nowhere to go. Children need access to healthcare and education, running water – it really is a dire need."

 Cornwall councillor Fred Greenslade, committee chairman, said he hoped the Cornwall Local Plan would address the issues of Gypsy and Traveller provision. "I tend to agree with you (Maggie Smith-Bendell); there has been no great provision of land but we must take today's application on its own merits."

After the meeting the family, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said they were over the moon. Mrs Smith-Bendell, speaking on their behalf, added it had been a long road and they were pleased with the result. "Let's just say when we started looking for this family they (their children) were five and six years old and we have an 18-year-old now getting married in a few weeks with nowhere to go."