This report examines the issues surrounding the provision of accommodation for Travellers and Gypsies in England and Wales. It includes an overview of the implications of the existing approach for the Travelling community, for local authorities and for those parts of the settled community affected by unauthorised encampments.
The provision of appropriate and adequate sites for Travellers and their families lies at the heart of resolving inequalities of access to health, education and employment, local tensions between communities with different interests and needs and is key to tackling racism and discrimination.
'The lack of attention that has been given to the accommodation needs of Travellers and Gypsies shames us all. Not only has it meant them having to endure inadequate living conditions, it has also fed the associated problem of unauthorised encampments, exacerbating prejudice and discrimination against the Traveller community. This report offers an opportunity to build the political momentum to address an issue that has been neglected for too long. It demands action.'
-Adam Sampson, Director,Shelter
'Significant, and one has to say, almost novel historically, is the level of consultation that the ippr has had with Gypsy and Traveller representatives and organisations, as well as site visits to view the matter at first hand. We in the Traveller Law Reform Coalition welcome the involvement of ippr. We feel encouraged by their genuine interest and close attention to the Gypsy/Traveller voice in an effort to find and formulate a resolution to current difficulties that is fair to all parties, both the Travelling and settled communities.'
-Len Smith, Gypsy and leading member of the Traveller Law Reform Coalition
'I welcome this timely report and fully support the recommendations. Whilst improvements are forging ahead for those living in 'bricks and mortar' housing, I find it astounding that the accommodation needs of many Gypsies and Travellers are still so marginalized. I also applaud ippr's commitment to involving Gypsies and Travellers both in identifying and implementing solutions.
There is a huge task ahead, but I hope that the launch of this report will place the spotlight firmly on the issue, and drive forwards measurable and lasting improvements for Gypsies and Travellers.'
-Trevor Phillips, Chair, Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)
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