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York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Showpeople  Conference - 18th November 2016

A very busy and engaging day - The speakers in the morning session gave an overview of the changes in national planning policy and guidance and the results of research involving the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Showpeople (GRTS) communities. The workshops gave practical advice and insights into managing sites, delivering services and responding to planning applications. The conference was well attended by service providers, planning and housing professionals and those working in public health and advice. Presentations and handouts from the day will be uploaded here soon.

Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Showpeople

There is a long established community of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Showpeople (GRTS) living across York, North Yorkshire & East Riding. Throughout the summer months a number of Travellers and Showpeople from other parts of the country also stay or stop off to visit relatives and/or work at village and market town fairs. Many GRTS groups also stop off on their way to other parts of the country as the A1 and A19 are key routes that connect to wider traveller networks.

Led by a sub regional Steering Group with representatives from the County and District/Borough Councils, we work with resident and transient communities to improve communication and understanding between them and local housing and planning authorities across York, North Yorkshire & East Riding. We hope that by working together we will be able to reduce conflict and misunderstanding and limit the number of times enforcement action is taken.

The Gypsy and Traveller PartnershipGTRS LogoGTRS Logo

The Gypsy & Traveller Partnership fits within the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership structure and reports to the Chief Housing Officers Group. It consists of officers from Housing and Planning Departments representing Craven, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Selby District Councils and Harrogate Borough and Scarborough Borough Councils, North Yorkshire County Council, East Riding of Yorkshire and the City of York Councils. Other organisations also attend, including Horton Housing and the York Travellers Trust.

Issues facing Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Showpeople

Research shows there is a close link between the lack of good quality sites for GRTS groups and poor physical and mental health, lower life expectancy and poorer education outcomes. A significant number of GRTS have no permanent base and are often moved around, sometimes against their will. Through our work we hope to address issues at a local level relating to:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Life expectancy
  • Educational achievement of children and young people
  • Literacy
  • Employment

North Yorkshire County Council commission a GRTS support service which provides support to the settled and travelling communities. This is delivered by Horton Housing.

Planning Policy for GRTS Sites

The GRTS sub group are currently reviewing guidance available to GRTS communities and their representatives in relation to planning applications for new sites. We will shre this on this site as soon as it is available. Current, national guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government can be found here

Caravan Count

A count of Gypsy and Traveller Caravans takes place twice a year (in January and July) and records the number of caravans on both authorised and unauthorised sites across England and is produced for the Department of Communities & Local Government.

Introduced in England in 1979, the count is intended to estimate the size of the GTRS population in order to ensure that adequate site provision is made. By choosing the months January and July the count gives an insight into the difference between summer and winter travelling patterns. The count findings can help to assess site availability (both permanent and transit), monitor Local Authority progress towards site provision and highlight issues relating to GTRS social inclusion along with access to other services. The live tables recording the count by each Local Authority can be found here.

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