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."

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Three Films For Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month

TravellerSpace present three short films for Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2013

Tuesday 25th June 2013 10.30-12pm
Redruth Cinema
The Road Bends  
Darren Lee Wilson 

"A documentary by three members the Gypsy Traveller community, with tales of family upbringing, Appleby, My big fat Gypsy wedding, site evictions, to the cold hard reality of prison life."

Our Big Real Gypsy Lives
Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative

"A documentary about Lincolnshire's Romany Gypsies."

Don’t Judge
St Day Gypsy and Traveller Women's Group

"Gypsy young people from St.Day tell it how it is!"
 Limited spaces so booking with TravellerSpace is essential

St Day Gypsy and Traveller Women's Group Open Day June 2013

St.Day Gypsy and Traveller Women's Group Open Day 19th, June, 2013. All welcome, but let us know if you are coming so we can make enough sandwiches!

Job Advert - Gypsy and Traveller Young Persons' Worker

We are pleased to report that we have been successful in our funding bid to the Travellers' Aid Trust to employ a Gypsy and Traveller Young Persons' Worker. The post is funded for the next 2 years, 12 hours a week, during term term (42 weeks). £18,212 pro rata.

The Gypsy and Traveller Young Persons' Worker will

  • provide literacy, numeracy and basic skills support on a one-to-one basis to Gypsy & Traveller young people and have the understanding and passion to address the barriers to education and training experienced by these communities.

  • join a dedicated staff team, building on the existing projects and relationships we have already among Travelling communities, to assist young Travellers in identifying training needs and wishes and working on the barriers to their engagement. 

  •  build on our partnerships with statutory, voluntary and community sector to help identify existing provision of appropriate courses and training for young Travellers, developing clear communication between providers, young people and their families in order to address any issues as they come up and finding workable solutions where possible. 

  •  initiate the developing of bespoke courses with nationally recognised qualifications, which meet the needs of Gypsy & Traveller young people in Cornwall and can be delivered through TravellerSpace partnerships. 

For further details email tspace AT (replacing the AT with @) or ring 01736 366 940.

Closing date for applications is 3rd June, 2013.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cornwall Council begin consultation on the Gypsy & Travelling Communities Strategy & Delivery Plan

Cornwall Council are consulting on the Gypsy & Travelling Communities Strategy & Delivery Plan.  

The Draft Gypsy and Travelling Communities Strategy and Delivery Plan (pdf) provides the evidence base for the Draft Local Plan policy for Gypsies and Travellers. It identifies pitch requirements to 2020; sets out the Council’s priorities for delivery of sites; and includes information on funding, site design and site management. It does not allocate specific sites for Gypsy and Traveller use, nor includes site specific policies. (i.e it does not give locations for sites). 

The Plan includes:

  • The numbers of pitches required for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople to 2020;
  • The Council’s priorities for delivery of sites;
  • Potential funding opportunities;
  • Links to further site design and site management guidance;
  • Council procedures regarding unauthorised sites and enforcement;
  • Advice regarding waiting lists for pitches;
  • Advice and contact number if you want to make a planning application to develop your own site.
 The consultation will last 6 weeks - starting Monday 11 March and ending at 5.00pm on Monday 22 April 2013. 

A separate Development Plan Document will be prepared – a formal document (as part of the Local Plan) which will allocate specific sites for accommodation for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. This will be made available for public consultation in due course. 

 For further information on the Draft Strategy or on developing new sites for Travellers please ring Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 161 and ask for the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer or email 

TravellerSpace have copies of the consultation document and the summary leaflet available.

 If you would be interested in attending a consultation meeting with the Council please get in contact with TravellerSpace - tspace AT (replace AT with @) or ring 01736 366 940.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Travellers' "unauthorised encampment" at Newham on edge of Truro

From the West Briton
More than 50 Travellers have set up camp on the outskirts of Truro. Police confirmed there are now between 20-30 vans and cars on a public highway at the far end of Newham. Cornwall Council said there was an "unauthorised encampment" at the site. Both Cornwall Council and the police will now monitor the situation before any action is taken.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Site Provision in Cornwall - consultations

Cornwall Council are beginning a consultation with Gypsies and Travellers about new site provision. They propose to allow more sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople across Cornwall over the next 8 years. Currently they are proposing;

 • 146 residential pitches
 •  50 transit pitches
 • 7 pitches for Showpeople

Some will be provided by the council, they have £1.24 million already secured to do this, and others will come for Gypsies and Travellers developing their own land. The council aims to offer help on how to get planning permission for pitches - since 2006 they have granted planning permission for nearly 100 pitches.

TravellerSpace are arranging a series of meetings for Gypsies and Travellers to hear what the council have to say and to put forward your own views. The fist of these meetings is on Thursday 24th January, 1.30pm at The Park Children's Centre, Park Terrace, Falmouth TR11 2DJ.

 Travel expenses available.