Gypsy and Traveller Site Options

Ended on the 29th July 2013
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(9) 4. What are the Issues?

4.1 Gypsies and Travellers without an authorised pitch for their caravans are homeless. A shortage of authorised sites underlies the unauthorised development of sites by Gypsies and Travellers without planning permission, and unauthorised encampments on roadsides, car parks or other pieces of land. Such unauthorised sites provide uncertain and often very poor living conditions for Gypsies and Travellers, disruption and anxiety for settled neighbours, and costs to local authorities in management and enforcement. They worsen community tensions and make community cohesion and social inclusion harder to achieve.

4.2 Gypsies and Travellers experience the worst health and education status of any disadvantaged group in England as a result. Life expectancy is, for example, 12 years less for women and 10 years less for men than among the settled community. In 2007, 7% of children of Gypsy/Romany origin and 8.4% of Traveller children of Irish Heritage achieved 5 or more A* to C grades in GCSE or equivalent exams including English and Mathematics in England compared to a national average of 45.4%. 18% of Gypsy & Traveller mothers have experienced the death of a child compared to less than 1% of the settled community. Research further shows a consistent link between such measures of disadvantage and the shortage of good quality Gypsy and Traveller sites. It is against this background that all local authorities are directed to find suitable, deliverable and sustainable sites within their areas to meet their needs.

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