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Anorak | Dale Farm: Travellers Lose, Basildon Council Wins And Gypsies Are Invited To Settle In Wales

Dale Farm: Travellers Lose, Basildon Council Wins And Gypsies Are Invited To Settle In Wales

by | 3rd, October 2011

THE Dale Farm Travellers have lost. A High Court judge says Basildon Council can remove caravans from 49 of the 54 plots at Dale Farm. There are still issues to resolve, but the bailiffs can remove walls, fences and gates from the site of the non-travelling travellers.

Basildon council must also cough up a third of the travellers’ legal costs.

Meanwhile, over in Wales, The Welsh Government supports a “new deal” between travellers and statics. It’s published a document called Travelling to a Better Future. We learn:

“This is an opportunity to sketch out a new relationship between Gypsies and travellers and the settled community. For too long the relationship between the two has been antagonistic, based on suspicion, confrontation and a lack of understanding from both perspectives.”

So. What changes to make the outsiders beloved?

Equalities Minister Jane Hutt says travellers are part of Wales’s “rich mix of cultures and traditions”.

Yep. But what changes?

In December 2004 the Welsh Assembly Government commissioned the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham to carry out research on the accommodation needs of Gypsy-Travellers in Wales to inform policy development. The research arose from a series of recommendations in the National Assembly’s Equality of Opportunity Committee’s report Service Provision for Gysies and Travellers which highlighted the central importance of accommodation to all Gypsy-Traveller services.

Bethan Wyn Jones, a Gypsy and traveller liaison officer for Gwynedd Council, explains how 15% of 793 carvans on 78 sites in Wales are illegal:

“The community of Gypsies and travellers in Wales has grown significantly in recent years, whereas the provision of sites to meet the accommodation needs of those communities has not developed in line with the population growth. I understand there are issues in terms of nimby-ism, but I think that we also need to address the fact that some unauthorised camping will inevitably continue while there is a shortage of permanent and transit sites available for travelling communities in Wales.”

What changes? In 2010:

A new website showcasing the work of young Gypsies and travellers in Wales and giving them the chance to voice their opinions has been launched.

Travelling Ahead will feature the stories of young members of those communities and aims to give them a voice on decisions that affect them.

The site has been designed by Save the Children in Wales.

Bethan Wyn Jones adds:

“In our modern society, I don’t believe there’s any need for anybody to be forced to be camping without authority on any patch of ground. Everyone is entitled to somewhere to live.”

Are they? You need land to live on. And the land is what cost the money and is controlled by planning orders.

Meanwhile, in Flintshire



Posted: 3rd, October 2011 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink