Debate on alternative lifestyles

We asked:- Should the UK be making more effort to
accommodate people with alternative lifestyles, such as

Here are some of the comments we received:-

“It is absolutely vital that the UK encourages and accommodates
groups with alternative lifestyles such as Travellers and

According to the Race Relations Act 1976 both Gypsies and Irish
Traveller are recognised as distinct ethnic groups. Unfortunately
the real scenario is rather different. Gypsies and Travellers have
had to endure decades of blatant discrimination, live in poor
squalid conditions and have little access to health, education or
employment facilities. They also represent the thin end of the
wedge in receiving fair and judicious planning decisions.

It is a situation, which is at odds with 21st Century
expectations or standards of living and one which Gypsy and
Traveller families across the country are attempting to address, in
partnership with government and organisations such as ourselves,
which works with over 850 Gypsies.

We have lobbied hard for the reintroduction of a statutory duty
on councils to provide suitable land for Gypsies and Travellers,
that is in accessible locations, is part of the wider community and
has ease of access to the very amentities that Gypsies and
Travellers rightly expect. In partnership with local councils and
other organisations we have sought to increase the educational and
work opportunities available to Gypsies and Travellers and have
also fostered understanding of the the specific issues faced by

These steps should be applauded and encouraged rather than
continue to reinforce the existing status quo.”

John Wilson
Assistant Director Gypsy and Traveller Services
Novas Group

“It seems clear to me that the government changed the law so that
travellers were deprived of sites on which to live and their hope
that these would be replaced by private sites has not been
realised. They should therefore think again about provision.”

Tony Myerson               

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