Do local councils treat gypsies fairly?

Len Smith

Gypsy activist

Councils have failed in their duty under circular 1/94, which
directs them to help gypsies to identify land for self purchase and
provision. If this had been done, the level of unauthorised
encampments would be much reduced. The Gypsy and Traveller Law
Reform Coalition is calling for the duty on councils to provide
sites reinstated.

Jean Stogdon

Grandparents Plus

No, I think councils do not play fair with gypsies. They stopped
providing sites for them and told them to buy their own land. Then
they wouldn’t give them planning permission to use the land to live
on! There is such a feeling of “Not in My Back Yard” over this
issue and I think that’s very wrong.

Joan Scott

Director, Action Unlimited

Some people think they can be a bit of a pain but gypsies have
rights like everybody else and they often don’t get a fair deal.
Having said that we’ve got some up by us and they have wrecked the
woods! So I think councils should give them land, but not where
they might cause too much of a nuisance or damage.

Shaun Webster

CHANGE self-advocacy group

I’ve met gypsies in Rotherham and they seemed alright to me. The
council has got it in for them. People don’t like them because they
are different, and I know how that feels myself. Also they are free
so I suppose some people are jealous. Gypsies should be allowed to
build on land they own – it’s their human right.

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