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Support for Gypsies and Travellers - Essay Example

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Keltcher (2004) defines gypsies or travelers as nomads or partly nomads. They have been recognized as ethnic groups by the Race Relations Legistration (Fraser 2007). Most of these racial groups are Irish and Scottish travelers, Romany gypsies and New Age travelers…
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Support for Gypsies and Travellers
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Download file to see previous pages According to Gypsies and Travellers (2006) unauthorized sites could be classified into two categories. One such type is the unauthorized encampments wherein the gypsies or travelers are parked illegally on land not belonging to them. The other type is called unauthorized developments which are described as sites where they own the land but without the required planning permission (Fraser 2007). Other groups, who are financially capable opt to move into permanent housing but are still socially branded as gypsies (Keltcher 2004). There are no official figures regarding the total number of British gypsies and travelers. However, in Keltcher (2004) estimates the size of these groups put together living in caravans to be between 90,000 to 12,000 excluding the 200,000 residing in settled houses. The July 2004 statistics (in Keltcher 2004) reported that a total of 847 caravans of which 562 were in authorized sites, 76 on authorized private sites and 209 on unauthorized encampments. Thomas (2006) cited that the poor accommodation and the shortage of sites to stay is one of the biggest problems faced by the travelers. This is the continuous sickness that the government spends time to search for remedy.
There were no polices against the gypsies in terms of their economic engagements during the 19th century. (Acton 1997) However in the 20th century, because of the economic changes, their trades became obsolete and they were forced to move out of their encampment sites. Acton (1997) explained that poorer gypsies resort to caravan while the wealthier ones began to buy land. However this was cut off by the 1960 Caravan Sites (Control of Development) Act (O'nions 1995). Such events led to the formation of the Gypsy Council on December 1966 (Thomas 2006). They demanded camping sites to open in every country, equal rights to education and equal standing through respect between themselves and the already settled neighbors (O'nion 1995). The government then enacted the Caravan Sites Act in 1968 (Acton 1997). Section 6 of this Act gave the Local Government a mandatory duty to provide "adequate accommodations for the gypsies living or staying in their area" (O'nion 1995). In return of such move, the Local Government can apply to the Secretary of State to become a "designated area" (Thomas 2006) Section 10 also gave designated Authorities additional powers to remove Gypsies from unauthorized land within their governed areas (O'nion 1995). These powers were greatly resented because they were granted even before all the Gypsies in an area had a place to stay (Acton 1997). The glorious solution lasted for a short time. In 1977, Sir John Cripps reviewed the implementation and reported that this Act was not properly implemented. Many of the gypsies still had no legal right of abode and societal pressures are still evident. Sir Cripps recommended that the central Government must provide funding. (Regional Spatial Strategy Draft 2000) This was also not the remedy because many Local Authorities still fail to comply with their statutory duty (O'nions 1995). The Councils ignored the new planning circular that called them to assist Travellers to identify land they could buy themselves and be developed as sites. This resorted to the shortage of sites thus forcing the gypsies to live on unauthorized encampments (Thomas 2006). The gypsies or travelers moved to unauthorized ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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