You are on page 1of 170

Assessing local authorities progress in meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities in England and Wales:

2010 update

Philip Brown and Sharron Henning, Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit, University of Salford, and Pat Niner, Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham

Equality and Human Rights Commission 2010 First published Winter 2010 ISBN 978 1 84206 332 3 EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION RESEARCH REPORT SERIES The Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report Series publishes research carried out for the Commission by commissioned researchers. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission. The Commission is publishing the report as a contribution to discussion and debate. Please contact the Research Team for further information about other EHRC research reports, or visit our website: Research Team Equality and Human Rights Commission Arndale House Arndale Centre Manchester M4 3AQ Email: research@equalityhumanrights.com Telephone: 0161 829 8500 Website: www.equalityhumanrights.com

You can download a copy of this report as a PDF from our website: www.equalityhumanrights.com If you require this publication in an alternative format, please contact the Communications Team to discuss your needs at: communications@equalityhumanrights.com

Contents
Page i ii iii vi 1 1 1 1 3 4 4 8 13 13 18 20 24 24 25 32 35 43 46 48 49 54 57 57 59 60

Tables Figures Glossary Executive summary 1. Introduction Objectives and scope of the study Aim and objectives Research approach Structure of the report 2. Context England Wales 3. Indications of progress from existing sources The Caravan Count Planning decisions (England) Grant awards for Gypsy and Traveller sites 4. Progress towards site provision Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments Requirements for additional pitches Planning infrastructure documents Planning applications and permissions Pitch provision achieved: Social sites Private pitch provision Overall pitch provision Assessments of adequacy of progress Examples of why is it unlikely that identified pitch shortfalls will be met during the first five-year planning period (LA respondents views) 5. Social site quality England Wales Examples of concerns with social sites and plans for remedy (LA respondents views)

6. Gypsy and Traveller accommodation in the local policy context A holistic vision Examples of elements in holistic strategic visions for work on Gypsies and Travellers (based on survey answers) Examples of priority actions to develop a holistic strategic vision (based on survey answers) Other strategies Examples of actions in Housing, Homelessness and Community Strategies (based on examination of strategies) Review of policies on Gypsies and Travellers Training for elected members and officers Planning advice on finding land Examples of proactive arrangements for providing planning advice to Gypsies and Travellers (based on survey answers) Policies on racist representations Good communications Examples of arrangements other than forums to create good communication with the local community (based on survey answers) Other matters 7. Perceptions of barriers Views on barriers Proactive measures to tackle barriers Examples of wide-ranging proactive approaches 8. Concluding comments Pitch provision in England Pitch provision in Wales Barriers to Gypsy and Traveller site provision Site identification and the planning framework Funding and finance Commitment and overcoming opposition Information on progress Appendix 1: Survey methodology Appendix 2: Text of covering letter to local authorities Appendix 3: Local authority survey questionnaire Appendix 4: Local authorities responding to the survey References

Page 63 63 64 70 72 76 79 80 82 83 85 85 86 89 93 93 105 106 108 108 111 112 113 115 116 118 120 123 124 149 154

Tables
Page Table 2.1: Summary position on Regional Spatial Strategy polices on Gypsy and Traveller pitches Table 3.1: National and regional change in caravan numbers: January 2006-January 2009 Table 3.2: Annual change in numbers of caravans on authorised sites: January 2006-January 2009: England Table 3.3: Local authorities with the largest increases and Decreases in caravans on authorised sites: 2006-09 Table 3.4: Summary of planning decisions by region: April 2008-December 2009 Table 3.5: Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant awards by region: 2006-09 Table 3.6: Local authorities with Grant awards for 15 or more additional/ re-used pitches: 2006-09 Table 4.1: Local authority estimates of five-year pitch requirements: England Table 4.2: Estimated residential pitch requirements years 1-5 (England) by region, type of authority and priority category Table 4.3: Estimate of five-year residential pitch requirements for all English local authorities Table 4.4: Preparation of planning documents : England Table 4.5: Summary of planning applications received and permissions granted 2006-09: England Table 4.6: Indications of outcomes of planning applications 2006-09: England Table 4.7: Number of pitches in planning permissions by local authority 2006-09: England Table 4.8: Summary of planning applications received and permissions granted 2006-09: Wales Table 4.9: Summary of changes in number of social sites and pitches 2006-09: England Table 4.10: Summary of changes in number of social sites and pitches 2006-09: Wales Table 4.11: Summary of private pitch completions 2006-09: England Table 4.12: Number of private residential pitches completed by local authority 2006-09: England 7

14 15 17 19 21 22

26 29 30 33 37 39 41 42 44 46 47 48

Table 4.13: Years needed to meet five-year pitch requirements: England Table 4.14: Local authorities assessment of likelihood of meeting identified pitch shortfalls in five years Table 6.1: Summary of inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues in mainstream strategies Table 6.2: Were Gypsies and Travellers consulted in the process of preparing strategies? Table 6.3: Has your authority reviewed policies on accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Table 6.4: Specific training activities during 2009 Table 6.5: Gypsy and Traveller Inter-agency Forum or other specific arrangements to create good communications Table 6.6: Lead department within the authority with responsibility for developing site provision Table 6.7: Measures to help Gypsies and Travellers who want it to access and/or retain bricks and mortar accommodation Table 7.1: Summary of perceived importance of barriers to site provision: England and Wales

Page 50 52

74 75 79 81 86 90 91

93

Figures
Figure 3.1: Extent of change in caravan numbers on authorised sites January 2006-January 2009

16

ii

Glossary
The following terms are used in this report and may need some clarification. Term Allocations Development Plan Document Explanation Document within the Local Development Framework which identifies and allocates land for various purposes, potentially including Gypsy and Travellers sites (England only). Authorised social site An authorised site owned by either the local authority or a Registered Social Landlord (RSL). Authorised private site An authorised site owned by a private individual (who may or may not be a Gypsy or a Traveller). These sites can be owner-occupied, rented or a mixture of owner-occupied and rented pitches. Bricks and mortar housing Permanent mainstream housing. Caravan Mobile living vehicle used by Gypsies and Travellers. Also referred to as trailers. Caravan Count Bi-annual count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans conducted every January and July by local authorities; published by CLG and Welsh Assembly Government. Core Strategy Key compulsory Development Plan Document in the Local Development Framework which sets out principles on which other Development Plan Documents are built (England only). Department for Communities The main government department responsible and Local Government (CLG) for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues (England only). Development Plan Documents which outline the key development Documents (DPDs) goals of the Local Development Framework (England only). Gypsy and Traveller The main document produced or Accommodation Needs commissioned by a local authority that Assessment (GTAA) identifies the accommodation requirements of Gypsies and Travellers. Gypsies and Travellers In this report, the term is used to include (as used in this report) all ethnic Gypsies and Irish Travellers, plus other Travellers who adopt a nomadic or iii

Gypsy and Traveller New Sites Grant Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant

Gypsy Traveller Site Refurbishment Grant Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

Local Development Framework (LDF)

Local Development Plan

Pitch

Regional Planning Body (RPB)

Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS)

semi-nomadic way of life. It does not include Travelling Showpeople. Grant available from Welsh Assembly Government for the development of new Gypsy and Traveller sites in Wales. Grant previously available from central government to local authorities and Registered Social Landlords for the refurbishment and development of Gypsy and Traveller sites. England only. Was administered by the Homes and Communities Agency. Was available while this research was carried out. In May 2010, the 2010/11 allocation was cut, leaving only the remainder of funding that had been carried forward from 2009/10. Grant available from Welsh Assembly Government for the refurbishment of social sites in Wales. National housing and regeneration agency for England formed 1 December 2008. From 2009/10 has been responsible for administering the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant (England only). A set of documents which a local planning authority creates to describe their strategy for development and use of land in their area of authority (England only). Document to be produced by local authorities in Wales which describes their strategy for development and use of land in their area. Area of land on a site/development generally home to one household. Can be varying sizes and have varying caravan occupancy levels. Prepares and reviews the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), incorporates the Regional Transport Strategy, and provides comments on planning policies prepared at the local level and on major planning applications submitted across the region (England only). Previous planning approach (in England only), in force while the research was carried out. Related to a document prepared by Regional iv

Site

Social site/public site Travelling Showpeople

Unauthorised development

Unauthorised encampment

Welsh Assembly Government

Planning Bodies, setting out the planning and transport policy for each region for a 15- to 20-year period. The strategies provided frameworks for determining planning applications, as well as for preparing Local Development Documents and Local Transport Plans. In July 2010 the government announced its decision to abolish RSSs (subject to parliamentary approval). An authorised area of land on which Gypsies and Travellers are accommodated in trailers/chalets/vehicles. Can contain one or multiple pitches. An authorised Gypsy and Traveller site run by a local authority or Registered Social Landlord. Commonly referred to as Showmen, these are a group of occupational Travellers who work on travelling shows and fairs across the UK and abroad. This report does not include reference to meeting the accommodation requirements of Travelling Showpeople as they are the subject of separate planning guidance. This refers to a caravan/trailer or group of caravans/trailers on land owned (possibly developed) by Gypsies and Travellers without planning permission. Residing in caravans/trailers on private/public land without permission (for example, at the side of the road, on a car park or on a piece of undeveloped land). The government body with devolved responsibility for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation in Wales.

Executive summary
Background In 2009 the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) published the briefing paper Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together (referred to as Simple Solutions). This was based on evidence from two separate pieces of research: a review of the inequalities faced by Gypsies and Travellers (Cemlyn, Greenfields, Burnett, Matthews and Whitwell, 2009) and a review of the progress local authorities were making in providing pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in England (Brown and Niner, 2009). Simple Solutions highlighted the relatively slow and inadequate progress local authorities were making in taking steps to resolve the recognised shortfall of appropriate accommodation. A subsequent report examined the progress made by local authorities in Scotland (Brown, Niner and Lomax, 2010). The aim of this study is to provide an update to the 2009 progress review and to provide information relating to the progress made by local authorities in Wales over the 2006-2009 period. This report is based on data collected between January and March 2010. The details of current site provision, and plans to develop further sites, may have changed slightly since then. Nevertheless, it does provide a recent update on site provision for Gypsies and Travellers and the challenges that need to be addressed. Approach to the research The research used the following approaches to gather relevant information to indicate progress towards pitch provision: Analysis of relevant existing sources including Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs), the Caravan Count (England and Wales) information from the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), and the Welsh Assembly Government on Site Grant (England and Wales) and planning applications and permissions for Gypsy and Traveller sites (England only). A detailed questionnaire was sent to all local authorities in England and Wales. By the specified deadline for data analysis, responses had been received from 261 of the 326 local authorities in England and 16 of the 22 authorities in Wales.

vi

Legal and policy framework The main document detailing planning policy in England is Circular 01/2006 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites, originally issued by CLGs predecessor, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). This set out the aims of legislation and government policy at that time, which were to: ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have fair access to suitable accommodation, education, health and welfare provision reduce the number of unauthorised encampments and developments address under-provision and increase the number of authorised sites by 2011 protect the traditional travelling way of life of Gypsies and Travellers underline the importance of assessing accommodation need promote private site provision, and avoid Gypsies and Travellers becoming homeless, where eviction from unauthorised sites occurs and where there is no alternative accommodation. Developments have taken place in the regional planning process in England since the first Commission progress review. ODPM Circular 01/2006 made clear that local planning authorities were required to identify sites in their Local Development Documents to meet the pitch requirements for Gypsies and Travellers identified in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) covering their area. Nevertheless, every region is at a slightly different stage and/or has adopted a different approach. Generally, the variable and evolving regional process has introduced uncertainties for local authorities seeking to plan for and implement site provision. It has also provided a cover for those who wish to disguise their opposition and lack of commitment to resolving site shortage for Gypsies and Travellers. The government policy on Gypsies and Travellers is still emerging (at the time of publication) but there is likely to be greater autonomy and responsibility on local authorities to provide sites. Further details are likely to be contained in the governments Decentralism and Localism Bill. This is due for publication at the end of November 2010 and may clarify what will replace the RSS, targets and guidance outlined in Circular 01/2006, subject to parliamentary approval. Policies and legislation relating to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation and planning issues in Wales are largely shared with, and mirror, those in England. In particular sections 225 and 226 of the Housing Act 2004 were brought into force in Wales in December 2007. As in England, this places a duty on local authorities to carry out

vii

an assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers residing in or resorting to their district and to develop plans to meet these identified needs. In terms of planning policy, in December 2007 the Welsh Assembly Government published WAG Circular 30/2007 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites. The circular encourages the use of brownfield sites when sites/pitches for Gypsies and Travellers are planned, in order to make the best economic use of under-utilised land. The key policies addressed in the planning circular are: a change to the definition of Gypsies and Travellers for land use planning purposes involving Gypsies and Travellers proactively in the planning process guidance for Gypsies and Travellers making planning applications a requirement that local planning authorities identify suitable locations in their Local Development Plan for residential and transit sites, and also for mixed uses, that meet the current working patterns of Gypsies and Travellers improved guidance on drafting the policy criteria in development plans against which applications for sites not allocated in the plan will be judged guidance on new Gypsy and Traveller Rural Exception Sites, and a section on local authorities responsibilities under the Race Relations Act (now replaced by the Equality Act 2010). The guidance encourages local authorities to identify locations for authorised sites in their Local Development Plans as informed by the relevant Accommodation Needs Assessment. These plans are then to be submitted to the Welsh Assembly Governments Planning Department with each plan required to demonstrate that the needs of Gypsies and Travellers have been assessed and sites have been identified to meet any need arising. Findings Pitch provision in England We estimate that 5,821 additional residential pitches for Gypsies and Travellers will be required in the first five-year period after the local needs assessment. It is not known how many additional transit pitches are required to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle, but these would be in addition to the 5,821 residential pitches. An analysis of net change in pitch numbers for the local authorities which replied to the survey and provided all relevant information on pitch completions and pitch losses between 2006 and 2011 shows that:

viii

Across England as a whole, taking into account all pitch changes social and private, temporary and permanent permissions it will take about 16 years to meet five-year requirements at the rate of progress achieved in 2006-09. If pitches provided with temporary or personal planning consent are excluded this could be extended to about 27 years.

Thirty-five local authorities (15 per cent of those providing all relevant information) are on track to meet their requirements within five years at the rate of progress achieved between 2006 and 2009, taking into account all net change; and a further 25 (11 per cent) within 10 years. Excluding pitches provided with temporary or personal planning permissions, only 15 authorities (six per cent) are on track to meet requirements within five years and a further 24 (10 per cent) within 10 years.

Fifty-seven per cent, or 135 authorities providing full information, showed either a zero or a negative change in pitch numbers in 2006-09. Excluding pitches provided through temporary or personal planning permissions, 68 per cent of authorities made no net gain in pitch numbers.

Progress was rather better than the average in both high-priority areas (requirements of 40 pitches or more - likely to meet five-year targets in 11 years, based on total pitch changes) and low-priority areas (requirements up to five pitches - likely to take nine years). It was least in the medium-priority areas (22 years). Excluding temporary or personal permissions, estimated numbers of years are 18 for high-priority areas, 19 for low-priority areas and 38 for medium-priority areas.

The above findings suggest that progress in meeting targets appears slower than that found in the first Commission progress review. This is attributable partly to the different samples in the two studies and partly to the focus in the later review on net change in pitch numbers rather than simply on pitch completions. However, there are indications that the annual rate of progress in 2009 was below that achieved between 2006 and 2008. At the same time there have been several positive aspects of progress on Gypsy and Traveller site provision in England since 2006: The majority of new sites are being provided privately by Gypsies and Travellers themselves. These tend to be small sites and accord well with community aspirations on tenure, and can aid integration with the settled community.

ix

The number of planning permissions granted in 2009 was higher than previous years. The proportion of permanent (rather than temporary) permissions had also increased.

The proportion of awards of Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant involving new site or pitch provision or the re-use of existing pitches (rather than simply site refurbishment) increased in the 2008/09 and 2009/10 bidding rounds. Awards in 2006 to 2009 have the potential to lead to the creation of some 500 additional pitches on social sites, although there are indications that not all will be developed as planned.

However, the main conclusion is that the overall rate of progress on site provision needs to increase more than fivefold to meet the five-year pitch shortfall, where pitches are provided with permanent planning permissions. Pitch provision in Wales As Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments are not yet complete across Wales, the scale of future pitch requirements is not clear. Although the supply and need situation is very different according to area, an earlier national study (Niner, 2006) suggests that there is a national pitch shortfall. Caravan Count data and information from local authorities indicate that the number of authorised pitches across Wales has at best been static since 2006 and has probably decreased. Based on the 16 authorities responding to the survey: There has been a 16-pitch increase since 2006, taking into account total net change in pitch numbers on social and private sites. If pitches provided with only temporary or personal planning permissions are excluded, there has been a four-pitch decrease between 2006 and 2009. There has been a net loss of pitches on social sites associated with site improvements. Pitches appear to have been lost as an unintended consequence of the need to tackle overcrowding on local authority sites while undertaking site improvement works. Two temporary social sites, effectively tolerated encampments, have been established since 2006. There has been a small increase in completions on private sites, almost all with temporary or personal planning permissions. There are some encouraging signs for future pitch provision: The Welsh Assembly Government, in its draft Gypsy Traveller Strategy, has set a target to deliver two new social Gypsy Traveller sites by 2013. x

Of the 16 authorities responding to the survey, three plan a new social site together providing 24 pitches. Realising these plans is probably entirely dependent on continuing Grant funding.

Unlike ODPM Circular 01/2006 in England, WAG Circular 30/2007 does not set objectives for site provision. However, there is still a presumption that, where there is need, additional Gypsy Traveller sites should be provided. Significant change is needed if this is to be achieved. Barriers to Gypsy and Traveller site provision A number of issues appear to be acting as barriers to progress in meeting the need for site provision. This review suggests three main sets of issues: Finding sites and delivering these through the planning framework. Funding and finance. Leadership and commitment to overcoming opposition.

Finding sites and the planning framework The infrastructure for the land-use planning system (Development Plan Documents and Local Development Plans) is not yet in place in many local authorities across England and Wales. A significant number of authorities in both England and Wales will not have achieved this until 2011 and beyond. Until this infrastructure is in place the plan-led system cannot operate effectively. The lack of a finalised planning framework means that significant proportions of Gypsy and Traveller site planning applications will either be refused (refusal may or may not be reversed by an appeal) or only granted temporary permissions because they are in the wrong place - where Gypsies and Travellers have found affordable and available land often in locations with a presumption against development. In England, the regional planning framework of Circular 01/2006 has determined the number of pitches to be provided in each local planning authority, and monitored progress towards meeting these targets. An oversight body provides a means of ensuring that the responsibility for site provision is shared among local authorities. In Wales, the simpler Local Development Plan system should expedite progress on site provision. Funding and finance

xi

Funding and finance are perceived as significant barriers, especially in Wales where the majority of current site provision and anticipated new provision is in the social sector (local authority provision). Gypsy and Traveller Site Grants, while available at the time the research was carried out, are no longer available in England and Wales for the provision of new sites. In both countries, local authority respondents reported plans for new social Gypsy and Traveller sites. Implementation of these plans probably depends on the continuation of Grant support or other financial incentives to provide sites. Social site quality is still a concern for just under half of English and over half of Welsh local authorities. Plans are in place in many authorities for remedying physical problems which again are dependent on the availability of Grant money for refurbishment. Not all concerns relate to physical conditions which can be remedied by refurbishment; some are environmental or related to the location of the site and some are social, especially related to family conflicts between site residents or between existing residents and would-be residents. Commitment and overcoming opposition Opposition to Gypsy and Traveller site provision, which can be exacerbated by negative media coverage, leads to problems in finding suitable sites and constitutes a powerful barrier to site provision. Opposition can come from the public and elected members. If site provision is not a local priority and leadership is lacking, this barrier is very hard to overcome. Responses from local authorities suggest that there are no quick fixes to this issue but patient and persistent working through different forms of engagement with settled and Gypsy and Traveller communities, other agencies and elected members. The survey suggests that there is good practice in a minority of authorities, but that others are doing very little. Many of the recommendations in the Commissions briefing paper Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together are aimed at overcoming barriers of this sort by increasing understanding and awareness, creating better channels of communication, and ensuring that Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues are mainstreamed and embedded in local strategies. Our analysis has shown that overall progress in this area is encouraging but patchy. There is some excellent proactive good practice but, at the same time, some authorities are doing very little. Encouragingly, high-priority authorities in England (those with the highest pitch requirements) are most active across the board.

xii

In this context, the aim should be to share and spread good practice.

xiii

1.

Introduction

Scope of the study In 2009, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) published the policy report Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together (referred to hereafter as Simple Solutions). This was based on evidence from two separate pieces of research: a review of the inequalities faced by Gypsies and Travellers (Cemlyn et al., 2009) and a review of local authorities progress in providing pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in England (Brown and Niner, 2009), referred to hereafter as the first progress review. Simple Solutions highlighted the relatively slow progress local authorities were making in taking steps to resolve the recognised shortfall of appropriate accommodation, highlighted good practice and made recommendations to encourage progress. A subsequent report examined the progress made by local authorities in Scotland (Brown, Niner and Lomax, 2010). Aims and objectives The aim of the present study was to provide an update to the 2009 progress review and to provide information relating to the progress made by local authorities in Wales over the 2006-09 period. There were a number of specific objectives: To obtain hard data about the extent to which local authorities are meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities. To examine the extent to which the needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities are integrated into wider plans, including local use of the Equality Framework for Local Government. To identify progress on meeting the recommendations of the Simple Solutions briefing paper. Research approach The approach to this study involved bringing together various existing data sources and the results of a survey of local authorities across England and Wales. Assessments of need for Gypsy and Traveller sites . For England, this included Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs) completed since the first progress review. For Wales, it entailed compiling the recognised pitch requirements across the country through the local authority survey. The policy and guidance context. This included updating information for England and a review of the relevant policy for Wales.

The bi-annual Caravan Count. Differences in the numbers of caravans on authorised sites were analysed at local authority level as a proxy for site development or authorisation. In England this involved updating to January 2009; in Wales figures were analysed between July 2006 (when Counts were re-introduced) to 2009.

Information from the Department for Communities and Local Government and Welsh Assembly Government. Information on Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant awards (England and Wales) and planning applications and permissions for Gypsy and Traveller sites (England only) was reviewed.

A survey of local authorities. We carried out a survey of all local authorities across England and Wales to establish their progress on assessing, planning for and delivering accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers. Local authorities were also asked to demonstrate how they had embedded Gypsies and Travellers in their local plans and policies. In England, 261 questionnaires were returned by the specified deadline (a response rate of 80 per cent of the total 326 authorities) and, in Wales, 16 questionnaires were returned by the deadline (73 per cent of the total 22 authorities), giving an overall response rate of 80 per cent for England and Wales. Following a letter from the Commission to non-responding authorities, a further 43 completed questionnaires were returned, but were not in time to be included in the analysis. Details of the survey methodology are presented in Appendix 1. The covering letter and questionnaire used in the survey are in Appendices 2 and 3 respectively. Appendix 4 includes a list of all responding authorities.

Survey data are analysed, where appropriate, according to region and type of local authority (metropolitan districts, London Boroughs, unitary and district councils in England, and Welsh authorities). In most instances, separate analyses are presented for England and Wales. In England, the approach follows that of the first progress review where local authorities are categorised according to priority. This is done solely on the basis of assessed requirements for additional residential pitches in the first five years (for some authorities this means the period 2006-11; for others a later five-year period depending on the base date of their Gypsy Traveller Accommodation Assessment or Regional Spatial Strategy target). High-priority authorities have requirements of 40 pitches or more, medium-priority have requirements of more than five and fewer than 40 additional pitches. Low-priority authorities have requirements of up to five pitches.

Structure of the report This report is intended to assist the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its regulation of the progress being made by local authorities in England and Wales in meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. It sets out the context for each country and then looks at the progress being made by local authorities, first drawing on secondary data and then on the survey. It also considers some of the perceived barriers to progress and how these can be overcome: Chapter 2: policy context. Chapter 3: analyses of secondary data from the Caravan Count, Grant records and planning applications. Chapter 4: progress towards increasing site provision drawing on the survey, including progress with local needs assessments, establishing the local planning framework, planning applications and decisions, changes to pitch numbers on social sites (sites owned and managed by a local authority or a Registered Social Landlord) and changes to pitch numbers on private sites. The adequacy of progress is assessed in relation to estimated pitch requirements. Chapter 5: social site quality, perceived concerns and plans to remedy them. Chapter 6: Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues in local strategies and policies. This chapter examines the extent to which recommendations from Simple Solutions are being followed. Chapter 7: perceived barriers to site provision and how they are being overcome. Chapter 8: concluding comments.

2.

Context

This chapter sets the policy context for Gypsy and Traveller site provision during the period under examination. For England, this involves a review of publications which appeared between the first Commission review in 2009 and the date of writing this report in May 2010 (a fuller picture of the context in 2009 can be found in Brown and Niner, 2009). Significant policy changes have occurred and are in prospect since May 2010 under the new coalition government. This chapter also includes a more detailed review of the context which underpins the approach to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues in Wales. England Planning policy since 2006 The main document for detailing planning policy in England remains ODPM Circular 01/2006 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites. This specifies that the aims of the legislation and policy developments are to: ensure that Gypsies and Travellers have fair access to suitable accommodation, education, health and welfare provision reduce the number of unauthorised encampments and developments increase significantly the number of Gypsy and Traveller sites in appropriate locations and with planning permission in order to address under-provision by 2011 protect the traditional travelling way of life of Gypsies and Travellers Underline the importance of assessing accommodation need promote private site provision, and avoid Gypsies and Travellers becoming homeless, where eviction from unauthorised sites occurs and where there is no alternative accommodation. Travelling Showpeople are the subject of separate planning guidance, CLG Circular 04/07, which aims to ensure that the system for pitch assessment, identification and allocation as introduced for Gypsies and Travellers is also applied to Travelling Showpeople. 1

As in the first Commission progress review, the current study does not include provision for Travelling Showpeople. The focus is on Gypsies and Travellers, groups protected by race relations legislation.

The Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant The Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grant continues to provide capital funding for improving sites and increasing Gypsy and Traveller site/pitch provision by local authorities and Registered Social Landlords. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is currently responsible for management of the Grant programme. A total of 97 million was made available for bids from local authorities and Registered Social Landlords over the period 2008-11. The Grant covers site/pitch development for New Travellers, Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople as well as site refurbishment. Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments (GTAAs) More GTAAs have been finalised in England during 2009. In addition, a small number of areas have begun a review of their GTAA, usually because of concerns about the methods previously adopted and the resulting requirement figures, and have commissioned new GTAA research (for example Essex and Somerset). Regional planning policy development Developments have taken place in the regional planning process in England since the Commissions first progress review. ODPM Circular 01/2006, which sets out the planning approach for Gypsy and Traveller site provision, makes clear that local planning authorities are to identify sites in their Local Development Documents to meet the pitch requirements for Gypsies and Travellers identified in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) covering their area. More than four years since Circular 01/2006 was issued, the regional statement of requirements is still far from complete. Table 2.1 summarises the position at the time of writing (May 2010). The table shows that every region is at a slightly different stage and/or has adopted a different approach. Only the East Midlands and East of England have approved RSSs which include pitch requirements at local authority level and two authorities have submitted legal challenges to the latter. Elsewhere, and particularly where the regional planning body has introduced some form of strategic redistribution of pitches away from need where it arises, there is potential for uncertainty as to the final outcome and the targets to be met. It is also apparent that the regions are working to different timescales which adds an additional level of complexity. Added uncertainties are introduced by the move away from RSSs to single integrated Regional Strategies from April 2010. Guidance was published in February 2010 (CLG/BIS, 2010) but does not explicitly refer to Gypsy and Traveller sites. The variable and evolving regional process has introduced uncertainties for local authorities seeking to plan for and implement site provision. It has also provided a

cover for those who wish to disguise their opposition or lack of commitment to resolving site shortage for Gypsies and Travellers. Communities and Local Government Progress Report In its response to the Independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement for Gypsies and Travellers, the government has committed to report annually to parliament on progress with regard to Gypsy and Traveller issues. The first annual report was submitted in July 2009. It highlights the current policy context on Gypsy and Traveller issues and identifies the challenges faced by Gypsies and Travellers and policymakers. Following the Commissions first progress review, CLGs progress report comments on the unsatisfactory pace of site delivery. The report reinforces the emphasis in Circular 01/2006 on local authorities significantly increasing provision. It places the onus on strong leadership at a local level in order to overcome the difficulties of establishing new sites.

Table 2.1: Summary position on Regional Spatial Strategy polices on Gypsy and Traveller pitches Region Latest review stage Local authority pitch allocations? North East North West Yorks & Humber East Midlands West Midlands Approved RSS Partial review including Gypsy and Traveller sites; Examination in Public (EiP) on Draft Policy held March 2010, decisions awaited Approved RSS Approved RSS Gypsy and Traveller sites part of Phase 3 of RSS revision overtaken by changes to regional planning framework. Working towards internal approval of an Interim Policy Statement which would be a material consideration in development control decisions and DPD preparation Approved Single Issue Review on Gypsies and Travellers; legal challenges from Basildon and St Albans Consultation Draft of revised London Plan. EiP expected later 2010 Single Issue Review on Gypsies and Travellers; EiP held February 2010; decisions awaited Gypsy and Traveller elements incorporated into revised South West Plan; Secretary of States Proposed Changes published and subject to consultation; awaiting (much delayed) decision No; indicative figures at sub-regional level only. Pre-GTAAs Yes; based on an element of redistribution reflecting local circumstances and constraints No; indicative figures at sub-regional level only Yes; minimum additional pitch requirements (Interim Policy Statement) Yes; based on an element of redistribution to widen choice away from the areas with highest current provision and highest need Yes; based on redistribution top-slicing from the areas with highest need to ensure a minimum of 15 pitches provided in all local authorities unless there are serious local constraints Yes; strategic allocation balancing need and land capacity to create a more even spread of provision Yes; based on redistributive approach reflecting planning constraints and opportunities to widen areas of choice Yes; based on need where it arises from GTAAs, local authority advice and evidence from the EiP

Dates for pitch figures To 2020 2007-16 To 2010 2007-12 2007-17

East

2006-11

London South East South West

2007-17 2006-16 2006-11

Wales Accommodation and planning policy The policies and legislation relating to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation and planning issues in Wales are to a large extent shared with, and mirror, England, though with implementation around two years later. In particular, Sections 225 and 226 of the Housing Act 2004 were brought into force in Wales in December 2007. As in England, these place a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers residing in or resorting to their district and to develop plans to meet any identified needs. In terms of planning policy, in December 2007 the Welsh Assembly Government published WAG Circular 30/2007 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites. The circular encourages the use of brownfield sites when sites/pitches for Gypsies and Travellers are planned, in order to make best economic use of under-utilised land. WAG Circular 30/2007 replaces the guidance contained in Welsh Office Circular 2/94 Gypsy Sites and Planning. The key policies addressed in the planning circular are: A change to the definition of Gypsies and Travellers for land-use planning purposes. The new definition recognises that Gypsies may stop travelling, either permanently or temporarily, for health or educational reasons or because of caring responsibilities. Involving Gypsies and Travellers proactively in the planning process via Community Involvement Schemes in Local Development Plan preparation and ensuring communication is direct and accessible. Guidance for Gypsies and Travellers making planning applications. A requirement that local planning authorities identify suitable locations in their Local Development Plan for residential and transit sites and also for mixed uses, that meet the current working patterns of Gypsies and Travellers. Improved guidance on drafting the policy criteria in development plans against which applications for sites not allocated in the plan will be judged. Guidance on new Gypsy and Traveller Rural Exception Sites. A section on local authorities responsibilities under the Race Relations Act indicating that they should monitor and then analyse decisions on planning applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites as against those for other types

of residential development to inform policy development. In addition they should monitor applications from Gypsies and Irish Travellers in order to identify any adverse impact on race equality. The guidance encourages local authorities to identify locations for authorised sites in their Local Development Plans as informed by the relevant Accommodation Needs Assessment. These plans are then to be submitted to the Welsh Assembly Governments Planning Department. Each plan is required to demonstrate that the needs of Gypsies and Travellers have been assessed and sites have been identified to meet any need arising. Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites In November 2008, the Welsh Assembly Government published an attractively produced guide to site planning for Gypsies and Travellers. The booklet was prepared by Planning Aid Wales and has sections on how many pitches are needed and where new sites should be; applying for a site; the right to appeal; living on a site without planning permission; human rights, and sources of further information. There is no similar booklet available for Gypsies and Travellers in England through CLG. Gypsy and Traveller Sites Grants The Welsh Assembly Government operates two Grants relating to Gypsy and Traveller sites: a grant for refurbishment and a separate grant for new site development. The Gypsy Traveller Site Refurbishment Grant provides capital funding for the refurbishment of existing Gypsy and Traveller sites in Wales by local authorities. Funding of 1 million per year has been available since 2007/08 to assist local authorities to meet the costs of refurbishment. The Grant provides up to 75 per cent of the estimated refurbishment costs with local authorities required to meet the remaining 25 per cent from within their own resources. Funding under this scheme is available until 2010-11 (this marks a difference from the English scheme under which only 50 per cent of refurbishment costs can be met by Grant unless additional pitches are provided 2). The Gypsy and Traveller New Sites Grant has, since March 2008, provided capital funding to the sum of 1.5 million for local authorities to set up
2

The bidding guidance for 2010/11 issued by the Homes and Communities Agency noted that 75 per cent grant was no longer available, and that authorities were now invited to bid separately for Grant for site refurbishment at 50 per cent and additional pitches at 100 per cent.

new sites in Wales. As in the refurbishment grant, the grant is for 75 per cent of the estimated costs with local authorities required to meet the remaining 25 per cent of costs from their own resources (new sites can attract 100 per cent Grant funding in England). Good Practice Guidance on Designing and Managing Gypsy and Traveller sites Following the recommendations included in the report Accommodation Needs of Gypsy-Travellers in Wales (Niner, 2006) the Welsh Assembly Government produced good practice guidance for designing Gypsy and Traveller sites and managing Gypsy and Traveller sites. Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping NAFWC 04/2005 The Welsh Assembly Government has published Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping NAFWC 04/2005. This guidance is primarily aimed at local authorities and the police but also at other parties involved in managing unauthorised camping. The Guidance has four main aims: To help strike an appropriate balance between the needs and legitimate expectations of members of the settled community, local businesses and other landowners, and Gypsies and Travellers. To set out recommended courses of action which all local authorities and police forces should follow to provide an effective response to unauthorised camping in their areas. To encourage a more consistent approach, building on current good practice and sharing experience. To show how to engage the settled and Gypsy and Traveller communities in order to achieve buy-in to the strategy, which is vital to ensure its effective delivery. A Road Less Travelled A Draft Gypsy Traveller Strategy The various Gypsy and Traveller-specific policy activities have been brought together under a national Gypsy and Traveller strategy, A Road Less Travelled, published by the Welsh Assembly Government. Within this strategy (currently in draft form) the historical and contemporary marginalised status of Gypsies and Travellers is acknowledged and it is asserted that the strategy exists as a new deal for the Gypsy and Traveller community. Developed in consultation with a variety of stakeholders, the strategy focuses on several 10

key policy areas including: accommodation, health, education, engagement and participation, and consultation. The strategy also lists a total of 17 objectives across these key policy areas. These objectives are as follows: 1. Improve mutual understanding and trust between Gypsy and Traveller communities and settled communities. 2. Refurbish seven local authority owned and managed sites across Wales by 2013. 3. Raise awareness of the planning circular WAG Circular 30/2007 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites among planning practitioners. 4. Establish the effectiveness of WAG Circular 30/2007 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites on the planning process when planning bids for Gypsy and Traveller sites are being assessed. 5. Deliver two new Gypsy and Traveller sites by 2013. 6. Continue the trend for a gradual reduction in the occurrence of unauthorised encampments. 7. Assess the implementation of the Moving Forward guidance to determine the impact it has had on standards of support for Gypsy and Traveller pupils. 8. Welsh Assembly Government to consider means of reducing the negative effects on schools of Gypsy and Traveller attendance rates. 9. Support schools in increasing the numbers of Gypsy and Traveller children and young people on school rolls, particularly at secondary level, or in training. 10. Where appropriate, the school curriculum should reflect the Gypsy and Traveller culture and history. 11. Enable young Gypsies and Travellers to become more responsive to their own needs and become more adept at expressing their views and opinions at both a local and national level. 12. Enable young Gypsies and Travellers to get involved and be represented in policy and service development, ensure they are supported and encouraged to join school councils. 13. Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Local Health Boards to identify how the recommendations in the 2003 Equality of Opportunity Committee (EOC) publication Review of Service Provision for Gypsies and Travellers, and responses identified in the 2004/05 DHSS Gypsy and Traveller report continue to be progressed. 14. Ensure the health needs of Gypsies and Travellers are addressed in the development of national and local strategic health policy, and that the community has an opportunity to contribute to health policies and initiatives that will have an impact on them.

11

15. Make health and social care services more accessible to the Gypsy and Traveller community. 16. Establish baseline information on the health status of the Gypsy and Traveller community in Wales, and establish a system for the continued collection of data on Gypsies and Travellers health. 17. Facilitate better consultation and engagement by public bodies with the Gypsy and Traveller community.

12

3.

Indications of progress from existing sources

This chapter uses national sources of data to assess progress towards the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers since 2006. Because of time lags in reporting, it is not always possible to look specifically at progress in 2009. There are three sections based on different data sources: the Caravan Count in England and Wales, planning decisions (England only) and grant awards for Gypsy and Traveller sites (England and Wales). The Caravan Count Local authorities carry out a count of Gypsy and Traveller caravans in their area each January and July. The figures are analysed and published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Welsh Assembly Government. Although they have been criticised for their consistency and accuracy they are likely to underestimate numbers the Counts provide the only time series information on Gypsy and Traveller caravans at national, regional and local authority level. England The first Equality and Human Rights Commission progress review noted changes in caravan numbers on authorised sites between January 2006 and January 2008 at national and regional level, and identified local authorities showing the largest increases and decreases in caravans over the period. Overall caravan numbers on authorised sites increased by 13 per cent from 12,474 to 14,047. The authorities with the largest increases in numbers were South Cambridgeshire, Maidstone and Herefordshire; those with the largest decreases were Runnymede, Elmbridge and Kingston upon Hull. The earlier report also related change in caravan numbers to estimated need for residential pitches over five years at national and regional level. This analysis has not been repeated here. Instead, Chapter 4 includes an analysis of the time required to meet five-year pitch requirements based on our local authority survey; this allows a longer time period to be covered. Analysis of change in caravan numbers has been repeated for the period January 2006 to January 2009 and is reported below. A note of caution is needed. Caravan figures recorded, even on authorised sites, can be quite volatile between Count dates. Apparent volatility can reflect reality there

are actually fewer caravans on a site because more families are away travelling or there are empty pitches but it seems that it can also arise from the way in which the Count is carried out. For example, a new officer could approach the task in a different way. A particular change in recording practices is the treatment of caravans on sites with temporary planning permission. Despite guidance, it seems that most authorities return these as authorised. In January 2009, for the first time, South Cambridgeshire started to return them as tolerated on unauthorised sites on land owned by Gypsies. Because of the significance of caravan numbers in South Cambridgeshire the figures reported below have been amended to include such caravans in the authorised site category in order to be comparable with 2006. Close examination of the data suggests that there has been no similar redefinition elsewhere affecting significant caravan numbers. These factors, of course, make it difficult to draw conclusions beyond broad trends, especially at the level of individual local authorities. Table 3.1 shows caravans on authorised sites in January 2006 and 2009. Overall, caravan numbers have increased from 12,474 to 14,309 an increase of 15 per cent. The highest rate of increase was recorded in the South East (24 per cent). Above average increases were also recorded in East Midlands and East of England. Caravan numbers decreased in the North East, and increases were well below average in the North West and London. Table 3.1: National and regional change in caravan numbers: January 2006-January 2009 Region Caravans: authorised sites Change in Jan 2006 Jan 2009 numbers North East 482 475 -7 North West 1,129 1,193 +64 Yorkshire & Humber 1,144 1,291 +147 East Midlands 966 1,150 +184 West Midlands 1,298 1,492 +194 East(1) 3,045 3,529 +484 London 683 745 +62 South East 2,255 2,788 +533 South West 1,452 1,646 +194 England(1)
(1)

% change -1% +6% +13% +19% +15% +16% +9% +24% +13% +15%

12,474

14,309

+1,835

The January 2009 figures have been increased by 124 to take account of the recording changes in South Cambridgeshire between 2006 and 2009.

Table 3.2 shows the total number of caravans on authorised sites each January between 2006 and 2009 for England as a whole. It shows change 14

over the previous year in absolute and percentage terms. As can be seen, the annual rate of increase has been very variable with a particularly rapid increase between January 2007 and 2008, falling back between January 2008 and 2009. Table 3.2: Annual change in numbers of caravans on authorised sites: January 2006-January 2009: England January Number of Change in year % change in year caravans 2006 12,474 2007 13,073 +599 +4.8% 2008 14,047 +974 +7.5% (1) 2009 14,309 +262 +1.9%
(1)

The January 2009 figures have been increased by 124 to take account of the recording changes in South Cambridgeshire between 2008 and 2009.

It will not be possible to accurately interpret trends in numbers of caravans on authorised sites until a longer time sequence is available. At present, Table 3.2 suggests that caravan numbers were unexpectedly high in January 2008. This had the effect of giving a perhaps unrealistically optimistic picture in the first Commission progress review. It is clear that, to date, there has been no annual acceleration in increase in caravan numbers as might have been expected with implementation of site provision policy. Over the full period 2006 to 2009, the 15 per cent increase represents a growth of about five per cent a year. This is probably higher than household increase from purely demographic causes, but not by a large margin. More than half of local authorities (177 or 54 per cent) showed very little change in numbers of caravans on authorised sites between January 2006 and 2009 (that is a change between +5 and -5 caravans). The graph at Figure 3.1 shows that more than twice as many authorities showed a larger increase (104 authorities) as showed a larger decrease (43 authorities).

15

Table 3.3 lists the authorities with the largest increases and decreases in caravan numbers (an increase of more than 30 caravans and a decrease of 25 or more caravans). Every region except North East and North West has an authority with a large increase, although more than half are in either the South East or East (these regions also account for half of the six authorities showing a large decrease in caravan numbers on authorised sites).

16

Table 3.3: Local authorities with the largest increases and decreases in caravans on authorised sites: 2006-09 Local authority Region Caravan change 2006-2008 South Cambridgeshire East +115 Aylesbury Vale South East +97 Maidstone South East +90 Central Bedfordshire East +69 West Oxfordshire South East +63 Herefordshire West Midlands +62 Wokingham South East +57 Southwark London +53 South Bucks South East +53 Harrow London +51 Wychavon West Midlands +45 Chichester South East +45 Kings Lynn & W. Norfolk East +44 Brentwood East +41 Tewkesbury South West +41 Doncaster Yorks & Humber +39 South Derbyshire East Midlands +39 Maldon East +39 Slough South East +39 West Berkshire South East +38 Nuneaton & Bedworth West Midlands +36 Walsall West Midlands +35 Mendip South West +33 Tunbridge Wells South East +32 Brent London -25 Winchester South East -25 Ipswich East -27 Cotswold South West -27 Trafford North West -35 Basildon East -50 Wales The Caravan Count was re-introduced in Wales in July 2006. July Counts are potentially distorted by summer travelling patterns, so we compare caravan numbers on authorised sites in Wales over the two-year period from January 2007 to January 2009: January 2007 703 caravans January 2009 702 caravans As can be seen, there was virtually no change over the two years across Wales as a whole, and certainly no growth.

17

Fourteen of the 22 local authorities in Wales (64 per cent) showed only minor positive or negative changes in caravans on authorised sites over the two years. Three authorities showed larger increases: Pembrokeshire Powys Merthyr Tydfil +68 caravans +18 caravans +13 caravans

Five authorities showed decreases of more than five caravans: Cardiff Neath Port Talbot Flintshire Carmarthenshire Wrexham -47 caravans -26 caravans -13 caravans -12 caravans -9 caravans

In some of these instances, reduced numbers may be related to permanent or temporary changes due to refurbishment of social sites (see below). Planning decisions (England) Development Control Statistics have been produced by CLG for many years. From April 2008 separate tables are available distinguishing planning decisions on Gypsy and Traveller pitch developments. A distinction is made between major (10 or more pitches) and minor (less than 10 pitches). The statistics show the number of decisions taken and the number of permissions granted. The data for the period April 2008 to end December 2009 are summarised by region in Table 3.4. All these figures are provisional and could be subject to revision by CLG in the light of more accurate returns. Over the 21-month period, 304 decisions were made on major and minor developments, and 184 (61 per cent) permissions were granted. This will include applications on social and private sites and permanent and temporary permissions. Not all applications/permissions necessarily involve the provision of additional pitches. It is clear that some regions received many more applications than others: South East, South West, East Midlands and East accounted for 75 per cent of the decisions and for 68 per cent of the permissions granted. While there is no necessary relationship between planning applications/permissions and requirements for additional pitches, higher application rates do seem to have occurred in the regions with highest requirements (see Table 4.2).

18

Table 3.4: Summary of planning decisions by region: April 2008December 2009 Major developments Minor developments Decisions Granted % Decisions Granted % Region North East 2 2 100 4 4 100 North West 0 0 9 5 55 Yorkshire 4 3 75 18 13 72 & Humber East 10 7 70 38 21 55 Midlands West 6 3 50 22 8 36 Midlands East 13 7 54 35 25 71 London 3 3 100 8 8 100 South East 4 2 50 64 38 59 South West 9 4 44 54 31 57 England 51 31 61 253 153 60
Source: CLG Development Control Statistics

CLG Development Control Statistics show that, for the calendar year 2009, 50 per cent of decisions on major developments and 52 per cent on minor developments affecting Gypsy and Traveller sites resulted in a grant of planning permission. This can be compared with figures for residential developments during 2009 of 72 per cent (major) and 69 per cent (minor). There is still a significant discrepancy between the relative success rates of Gypsy and Traveller site and residential planning applications a gap of some 22 per cent on major and 17 per cent on minor developments. As Chapter 4 below shows, very few local authorities as yet have Allocations Development Plan Documents which identify land suitable for Gypsy and Traveller site development. This means that plan led development control cannot operate in the same way as for residential development and probably accounts for the lower success rate of Gypsy and Traveller site applications. As well as providing information about planning applications and decisions, the CLG figures are also valuable as giving a check on the accuracy of the findings of our local authority survey. There is considerable similarity between the CLG figures for 2009 and those provided by our survey. This suggests that considerable weight can be placed on the survey findings on planning applications and approvals reported in Chapter 4 which cover a longer time period and include more detail, especially on pitch numbers, than the CLG statistics.

19

Grant awards for Gypsy and Traveller sites Government grants are currently available to contribute towards the cost of refurbishing existing social sites and providing additional pitches on existing and new sites in both England and Wales (see Chapter 2). The analysis below relates to grant awards. There is insufficient consistent monitoring information available at present to check how much grant has actually been spent and what has been achieved. England The Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant was first introduced in 2001/2 for refurbishment, and has been available throughout the period since 2006. Over the period, greater emphasis has been placed in bidding guidance to local authorities on the provision of new sites, the provision of additional pitches on existing sites and schemes which bring existing pitches back into use. There is also emphasis on innovative schemes aimed at developing sites in partnership with Gypsies and Travellers (for example by providing financial assistance with land purchase) rather than providing standard social sites with pitches for rent (HCA, 2010). At present, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is responsible for grant administration and monitoring. The 2010/11 Grant Bidding Guidance notes that the present Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced the intention to carry out a review to drive down the costs of providing new sites and ensure that money spent on Gypsy and Traveller sites is delivering value for money (HCA, 2010). Information provided to us by CLG and the HCA, which took over responsibility for Grant administration in 2009/10, seeks to identify new sites and additional pitches as well as refurbishments. Table 3.5 summarises the information at regional level. The information provided gave an indication of the number of new pitches to be provided, or existing pitches brought back into use, as a consequence of Grant awards. It is clear that the number of additional pitches planned in awards in the last two bidding rounds (2008/9 and 2009/10) is higher than in the earlier rounds (2006/7 and 2007/8). It is not possible from this information to distinguish completely between awards for additional pitches and for refurbishment because many schemes include both refurbishment and extension of existing sites. It is, therefore, not possible to estimate the cost per additional pitch provided with Grant. As an indication of the relative scale of awards for refurbishment and for

20

additional pitches, around 28 million appears to have been awarded for additional pitches on new sites or in schemes not involving refurbishment. This represents around 30 per cent of all awards. Thus, to date, most Grant has been awarded for site refurbishment rather than additional pitch provision. Table 3.5: Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant awards by region: 2006-09 Region Grant awards Additional/reused pitches North East 6,019,391 21 North West 6,917,697 71 Yorkshire & Humber 8,231,511 42 East Midlands 9,042,690 57 West Midlands 9,802,870 66 East 19,219,982 148 London 5,116,309 28 South East 16,822,739 95 South West 10,074,845 77 England 91,248,034 605
Source: CLG and HCA Notes: These figures are Grant awards. Not all the schemes will have been implemented. The number of additional pitches is overstated because the same new or additional pitches have sometimes been included more than once where Grant has been awarded in tranches in different years.

The notes to Table 3.5 make clear that the figures overstate the number of additional/new pitches likely to be delivered on the ground. Our analysis at local authority level has attempted to remove some of the double counting arising as described in Note 2. This is not always possible, but removing obvious duplication reduces the number of additional pitches potentially provided or brought back into use to around 525. Few of these pitches, especially on new sites, will have been created yet. The Caravan Count includes a listing of social sites. The only clear addition by January 2009 related to Grant is in Rugby where the local authority is redeveloping part of a pre-existing private site. (Five sites have opened in Hackney and Newham replacing existing sites requiring relocation because of the 2012 Olympics; other new sites in Bristol, Halton (transit) and South Cambridgeshire (emergency stopping place) were not funded by Grant awarded since 2006.) Table 3.6: Local authorities with Grant awards for 15 or more additional/re-used pitches: 2006-09 Additional Local pitches Type of project CLG comments authority intended on progress Nuneaton & 25 Refurbishment and No information

21

Bedworth St Helens North Norfolk Derby Wiltshire Carlisle 21 20 17 16 15

site/pitches brought back into use New short stay site 2 new transit sites New residential site Community trust fund New mixed site (residential and transit) New residential site

Possibly stalled No information Possibly stalled No information Ongoing

Nottingham

15

Poole

15

New provision perhaps on existing residential site

Problems on site; may change to transit use No information

Source: CLG

Some of the problems involved in assuming that Grant awards will translate into additional pitches or pitches brought back into use are illustrated in Table 3.6. This summarises details for the eight local authorities awarded Grant(s) which are shown by CLG records to involve the creation or re-use of 15 or more pitches (residential and transit) per authority. It appears uncertain whether all these schemes will go ahead, at least in their initial form. This highlights some of the very real barriers to Gypsy and Traveller site provision, even where finance is provided, and will be discussed further in Chapter 7. Wales There are two forms of Grant available in Wales. Gypsy Traveller Site Refurbishment Grant was launched in 2007/8 as a three-year programme for refurbishing existing social sites. The initial commitment was to spend up to 1 million a year. New Sites Grant was launched in 2008/09 with an initial commitment of 1.5 million a year. Both provide 75 per cent of approved capital costs with the local authority providing the remaining 25 per cent. To date, awards have been made in respect of refurbishment of 11 of the 19 existing local authority sites in Wales. Information provided by the Welsh Assembly Government to the researchers indicates that six pitches will have been brought back into use through these Grants, in one instance through the provision of amenity units allowing two pitches to be used. In another case, existing very rudimentary transit accommodation on a mixed site is to be converted to a fully serviced residential pitch. This suggests a gain 22

of seven good-quality residential pitches through the Refurbishment Grant. However, in purely numerical terms this should be offset by the loss of four pitches on the site in Wrexham where Grant has allowed the conversion of eight small existing pitches into four good-quality larger pitches which can accommodate larger families. Chapter 4 reports social pitch gains and losses from the survey. Only one award of New Sites Grant has been made so far. Powys County Council applied for, and was awarded, Grant in excess of 1 million to develop a new site with 12-14 pitches. However, the proposed site failed to get planning permission. Powys still hopes to deliver the new site. Thus far the Gypsy Traveller Site Grants in Wales have achieved improved standards on existing sites rather than any significant increase in pitch numbers. The draft strategy A Road Less Travelled published by the Welsh Assembly Government in August 2009 sets objectives to refurbish seven local authority-owned and managed sites, and to support local authorities to provide two new sites by 2013. In the absence of complete Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment coverage in Wales, it is not possible at the moment to estimate to what extent this provision will address requirements.

23

4.

Progress towards site provision

This chapter draws on the findings of our survey of local authorities in order to assess the progress made towards providing Gypsy and Traveller sites since 2006. It follows through the provision process, starting with progress on Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments, identified need and the establishment of a planning policy infrastructure of relevant planning documents. It then considers planning applications and decisions relating to private sites. The following sections show sites and pitches actually developed and lost since 2006 in the social and private sectors and overall in order to gauge net change in pitch numbers achieved; this is set against estimates of needs to be met. Because of national differences, analyses for England and Wales are normally presented separately. The sample is 261 local authorities in England and 16 in Wales. Numbers of planning applications, pitches developed and so on are presented as absolutes with no attempt to extrapolate from these figures to a full national picture. A similar approach was taken in the Equality and Human Rights Commissions first progress review. In that survey the sample was 185 English local authorities (Wales was not included). Because the analysis is sample dependent, it is not possible to make direct comparisons on numbers with the first review although comparisons are made with earlier comments or conclusions where appropriate. Direct comparisons are also difficult to make because of questionnaire differences between the two surveys reflecting learning from the earlier work. Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments The Housing Act 2004 required local authorities (LAs) to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, as they do for all other population groups. Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments (GTAAs) have been developed with guidance issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government on approaches and methods; the guidance applies in both England and Wales. A target was set in England for GTAAs to be complete by the end of 2007. No comparable target for completion of GTAAs has been set in Wales, where needs assessment is geared to wider Housing Market Assessments.

The first Commission progress review showed that only six per cent of English LAs that responded to the survey did not have a completed GTAA at the end of 2008. In the current survey, just three LAs said that they did not have a completed GTAA in two of these, work on a new GTAA is in progress to replace a very early study which took a methodological approach different from the norm which later became established. The third LA with an outstanding GTAA is a high-priority area (as defined in Chapter 1) on the basis of findings of the GTAA which were included in the first progress review, but which have apparently not yet been finalised. The picture in Wales is rather different. Just half of the 16 responding LAs had a completed GTAA covering their area and half did not. Four of the eight with GTAAs outstanding should have a completed study by the end of 2010, bringing coverage to three-quarters at that time. GTAAs reveal widespread accommodation needs. Only five per cent of responding LAs with a completed GTAA in England said that their GTAA did not reveal any requirement for additional pitches in their area. This represents 12 LAs, four of which are in Lancashire, three in Hampshire and one each in the North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England and London. All eight Welsh LAs with a completed GTAA said that they had revealed requirements for additional pitches in their area (although one gave a zero figure for need later in the questionnaire). Requirements for additional pitches Estimating pitch requirements: England GTAAs are just one element in determining requirements for additional pitches in an area. ODPM Circular 01/2006 makes clear that the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) should indicate how many pitches for Gypsies and Travellers each LA should provide through its Local Development Framework, taking a strategic view. Chapter 2 summarised the current complex picture across England with different regions at different stages in the RSS process in relation to Gypsy and Traveller sites taking different approaches to pitch allocation, and adopting different time periods. In this context it is almost impossible to answer the relatively simple question how many additional pitches are required. Question A7 of the survey asked LAs how many additional residential and transit pitches for Gypsies and Travellers they needed to provide in the first

25

five-year planning period (for example 2006-11 or 2007-12). Table 4.1 shows the answers within broad number bands. Table 4.1: Local authority estimates of five-year pitch requirements: England Residential pitches Transit pitches Number of LAs % Number of % Number of LAs pitches Zero 11 4 80 31 1 to 15 130 50 76 29 16 to 30 55 21 15 6 31 to 45 25 10 2 1 46 to 60 9 3 61 to 75 3 1 76 to 90 5 2 Over 90 2 1 Not known 21 8 88 34 Highest pitch requirement Average per LA making estimate Total pitches
Source: LA survey

159

40

19.1 4,573

5.2 907

A number of points should be made concerning the nature of the figures: A minority of LAs were unable to provide an estimate of pitch requirements. Of the 21 LAs unable to estimate residential pitch requirements, 13 were in the South East and four in the North West regions where Examinations in Public into RSS reviews on Gypsy and Traveller matters were taking place in early 2010 (around the time of the survey), and where the regional planning body had taken an approach to pitch allocation involving a degree of redistribution away from GTAA estimates of need where it arises. Comments made by LAs on the questionnaire refer explicitly to this. For example: The final pitch allocation for X is dependent on the outcome of the North West RSS Partial Review that is currently being undertaken; EiP in March 2010. This illustrates the uncertainties created by the planning system with its regional tier. Over a third of LAs were unable to estimate the number of additional transit pitches required, reflecting the lesser emphasis on this element of need both in GTAAs and RSS reviews. This is an important point given

26

that transit accommodation is a pre-condition of enabling a nomadic lifestyle for Gypsies and Travellers. It is apparent that, even where answers were given, not all estimates are for a five-year period as requested. Some gave figures for the longer time periods adopted in some emerging regional strategies. Some split the difference between GTAA and RSS estimates, others gave one figure or the other. Bearing these points in mind, it is possible to say some things about requirements: All but a small number of LAs estimate that they have some residential pitch requirements, but most estimate relatively modest requirements (up to 15 pitches). The LA with the highest requirement of 159 pitches (one of the large new unitary authorities) is markedly unusual. Almost a third of LAs, however, said that they had zero transit pitch needs, and average transit requirements are much lower than average residential requirements. The estimates taken together, with all their shortcomings, suggest a need for well over 5,000 additional pitches in a five-year period (from a sample including 80 per cent of all English LAs). The survey itself illustrates the variable sources of evidence of pitch requirements used by LAs. The source of the pitch requirements given was: GTAA (Emerging) Regional Spatial Strategy Both GTAA and (emerging) RSS Other 99 LAs (38 per cent) 74 LAs (28 per cent) 80 LAs (31 per cent) 3 LAs (1 per cent)

The importance of the (emerging) RSS framework is clear, and has increased since the earlier progress report when 50 per cent of LAs gave GTAA-based estimates of requirements. In time, the RSS has the potential to give greater certainty, but not during the production process itself. In this context, we have made our own estimate of five-year residential pitch requirements against which to measure progress. For continuity we have based this on the estimate made in the first Commission progress review, which was itself a combination of LA survey response, published GTAA and emerging RSS review information. For this update we have merely filled gaps 27

where GTAAs have been completed in the interim (and recalculated figures for newly formed unitary LAs); we have not amended other figures used in the earlier review. Not all these figures might be accepted by the LAs. This cannot, therefore, be seen as entirely authoritative, but is the best estimate of five-year residential requirements available. The total for additional residential pitch requirements for the LAs responding to the survey estimated on this basis is 4,760 which is broadly in line with the figure of 4,573 shown in Table 4.1 which excludes the 21 LAs unable to provide an estimate. Analysis of residential pitch requirements: England Our estimate of residential pitch requirements for all local authorities in England is shown in Table 4.2. The table also shows requirements by region, type of authority and priority category. Requirements are not evenly spread by region. Over half of all requirements arise in the three southern regions: East, South East and South West. Requirements are relatively low in London Boroughs and metropolitan districts. While average requirements per authority are lower among medium than among high-priority authorities, 60 per cent of all requirements arise in medium-priority areas.

28

Table 4.2: Estimated residential pitch requirements years 1-5 (England) by region, type of authority and priority category Pitch requirements % of national total England 5,821 100 Region North East 204 3 North West 601 10 Yorkshire & Humber 509 9 East Midlands 500 9 West Midlands 657 11 East 1,091 19 London 331 6 South East 876 15 South West 1,052 18 Type of authority London Borough 331 6 Metropolitan district 771 13 Unitary council 1,376 24 District council 3,343 57 Priority category High 2,173 37 Medium 3,480 60 Low 168 3 Table 4.3 shows the number and proportion of LAs with different additional residential pitch requirements in England. This differs from Table 4.1 both in the derivation of the figures (as explained above) and in that it includes estimates for all 326 English LAs.

Table 4.3: Estimate of five-year residential pitch requirements for all English local authorities Number of pitches Number of LAs % Zero 28 9 1 to 15 170 52 16 to 30 74 23 29

31 to 45 46 to 60 61 to 75 76 to 90 Over 90 Total pitch requirements Average per LA Range of requirements

29 14 5 4 2 5,821 17.9 0-159

9 4 2 1 1

There are 25 LAs with requirements in excess of 45. These are spread across all regions except London, but just over half are in either the East of England or the South West. Two are metropolitan districts, eight are unitaries and 15 are district councils. This greatly over-represents the proportion of unitary authorities, reflecting the size of some of these councils now formed on the basis of a whole county area. By definition, all high-priority LAs have pitch requirements of 40 or over. Together, they account for 37 per cent of total national estimated requirements. Tenure split: England The first progress review noted that only about 16 per cent of LAs in the survey were able to say how their pitch requirement was split between social and private provision. The proportion able to give an estimate appears to have increased slightly to about a fifth in the current survey, but the great majority still appear not to have detailed delivery plans. LAs commented that neither their GTAA nor (emerging) RSS review split requirements by tenure. Of those giving an answer, 20 LAs thought that the whole requirement would be met by social site provision, and 11 that provision would be 100 per cent private. Fifteen LAs thought that there would be a mixture of provision. From our wider experience, we think that the seeming importance of social site provision in these answers is potentially misleading and that, in practice, most LAs will meet their requirements with mixed provision, or an emphasis on private developments. Pitch requirements in Wales A national estimate of needs in Wales published in 2006 (Niner, 2006) concluded that 275-305 additional long-stay pitches would be needed for Gypsies and Travellers in Wales by 2011. It acknowledged that there were pitch vacancies on some social sites, and that pitch turnover would meet some of this need, but was unable to quantify unequivocally additional pitch requirements. There appears to be a geographical imbalance across Wales

30

whereby vacancies existing or arising on less popular sites in some areas will not meet needs arising in other areas where sites are full and turnover low. Niners estimate has been followed by more local estimates of requirements through GTAAs. As noted above, coverage across Wales is still incomplete. Thus, estimating pitch requirements in Wales is at the same time both simpler and more difficult than in England. It is simpler because there is no intervening regional allocation process; it is currently more difficult because only half of the responding LAs have a completed GTAA. Nine LAs in Wales were able to give an estimate of five-year residential pitch requirements (one subject to review in a GTAA in progress). In total, requirements for an additional 185 residential pitches were estimated, ranging from zero to 97. Two-thirds of these LAs (six) had requirements of up to 15 pitches. Eight LAs were able to give an estimate of transit pitch requirements. The total here was 20 pitches across all eight LAs. Five LAs said they had a zero transit need and the highest estimate was eight pitches. Five of the LAs with a completed GTAA were able to split requirements between social and private provision (a much higher proportion than in England). The emphasis is on social provision, with two LAs saying that all their requirements would be met in this way and a further two saying that two-thirds would be met in that way. In contrast only one LA thought their requirement would be wholly met by private provision and two thought a third would be met privately. This pattern of social/private provision plans is broadly in line with current provision revealed by the Caravan Count. In January 2009, only 23 per cent of the caravans on authorised sites were on private sites. There were, however, 80 caravans on unauthorised sites on land owned by Gypsies and Travellers (unauthorised development), which might suggest a demand for private sites not necessarily reflected in provision proposals. At present, the overall picture of need and provision intentions is too restricted to draw any firm conclusions. Planning infrastructure documents The planning systems are slightly different in England and Wales, as outlined in Chapter 2. Planning documents: England

31

A sequence of survey questions explored the extent to which English LAs had completed important planning documents concerning Gypsy and Traveller site provision. ODPM Circular 01/2006 makes clear that, where there is need for site provision, Core Strategies should set out locational criteria to be used to guide the allocation of land for sites in Development Plan Documents (DPDs). Site allocation DPDs then identify actual land to be allocated for Gypsy and Traveller sites. Table 4.4 summarises LA progress in this respect. A third of responding LAs said that they have a Core Strategy which sets out criteria for the location of Gypsy and Traveller sites to be used to guide the allocation of sites in the relevant Development Plan Documents. This represents some progress since the first progress review when only a fifth of respondents had such a Core Strategy, and is broadly in line with expectations reported at that date. High-priority LAs were less, rather than more, likely to have a completed Core Strategy or one in preparation. Where there was no Core Strategy setting out criteria for the location of Gypsy and Traveller sites, respondents were asked to say why not. In a few cases, the Core Strategy had been well advanced or approved before ODPM Circular 01/2006 made clear what should be included in relation to Gypsy and Traveller sites. These LAs, and others, were moving directly to producing a site allocation Development Plan Document. Other reasons given included delays around the formation of new unitary authorities and awaiting more or better information, or a completed Regional Spatial Strategy.

Table 4.4: Preparation of planning documents: England A3. Does your authoritys Core Strategy set out criteria for the location of Gypsy and Traveller sites to be used to guide the allocation of sites in the relevant Development Plan Documents? All LAs High priority Base: all LAs 261 29 No. % No. % Yes 86 33 5 17

32

In preparation No No answer

152 21 2

58 8 1

16 7 1

55 24 3

Estimated completion date where in preparation Base: LAs preparing 152 No. % 2010 24 16 2011 82 54 2012 35 23 2013 onwards 13 9 Unknown 8 5

16 No. 2 9 3 1 1 % 13 57 19 6 6

A5. Does your authority have an approved Development Plan Document which details Gypsy and Traveller site allocations? Base: All LAs 261 29 No. % No. % Yes 8 3 1 3 In preparation 127 49 22 76 No 125 48 6 21 No answer 1 * Estimated completion date where in preparation Base: LAs preparing 127 22 No. % No. % 2010 9 7 2 9 2011 33 26 4 18 2012 50 39 11 50 2013 onwards 22 17 2 9 No answer 13 10 3 14 The second half of Table 4.4 shows that very few LAs already have an approved Development Plan Document detailing Gypsy and Traveller site allocations (three per cent of all LAs as well as of high-priority LAs). Half of all respondents and three-quarters of high-priority LAs have such a DPD in preparation. The great majority of DPDs completed or in preparation are being produced on a single authority basis. Only 11 per cent of all LAs (17 per cent of highpriority LAs) are producing joint DPDs. Overall, progress on these indicators is not very impressive. The planning system introduced in 2006 was intended to have a rapid impact to contribute to meeting the backlog of urgent need for sites within about five years. By the end of 2011, when significant steps should have been taken towards site provision, at best 74 per cent of LAs will have an approved Core Strategy 33

setting site-finding criteria and only 19 per cent of LAs will have an approved DPD identifying locations for sites. It follows that the majority of LAs, including the majority of high-priority LAs, will not have an approved DPD by the end of 2011. ODPM Circular 01/2006 makes clear that, where there is urgent need, LAs should not wait to complete these documents before making site provision. The next main section will report on progress with planning applications and permissions to see whether this guidance is being followed. Planning documents in Wales Local planning authorities in Wales are required to produce Local Development Plans which are to include policies on provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers. Welsh Assembly Government guidance on Local Development Plans sets out a number of steps through which Plans must pass on the way to approval. Welsh LAs were asked to identify the latest step reached by their Local Development Plan: Deposit draft submitted to Welsh Assembly Government/Planning Inspectorate Deposit draft complete Deposit draft in preparation Delivery agreement complete None of these

2 LAs 1 LA 10 LAs 1 LA 2 LAs

As can be seen, most of the survey respondents are in the process of preparing their deposit draft Plans, with three LAs more, and three LAs less advanced through the procedures. All but two of the Welsh LAs are producing single authority Plans. The Welsh guidance sets out three different forms of policy which can be used in Local Development Plans for the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites: specific locations identified for sites, criteria-based policy and a rural exception site policy. Of the responding LAs, one was intending to include all three; three were intending to include identification of specific sites and criteria-based policies (as is the norm in England); five were intending to include a criteria-based policy only and the remainder had yet to decide. Of the three LAs with a complete or submitted deposit draft Plan, two had included criteria-based policies only, and one had indentified specific site locations and included a criteria-based policy. It is clear that, as in England, the infrastructure of planning documents to guide site provision is at a relatively early stage in Wales.

34

Planning applications and permissions Authorities in England and Wales were asked to provide information on planning applications for new and extended Gypsy and Traveller sites, and for renewal of temporary planning permissions, each year between 2006 and 2009. All but a very small number of LAs were able to provide the information requested. Answers provide a wealth of detail, the main points of which are summarised here. England Table 4.5 summarises the information for England for the whole four-year period 2006-09. There are three main sections in the table, relating to new sites, extended sites and renewals of temporary planning permission. In each section the rows show the number of applications received, the number of permanent permissions granted by the LA, the number of temporary or personal3 permissions granted by the LA, the number of permanent permissions granted on appeal and the number of temporary or personal permissions granted on appeal. The columns show, for each category, the number and percentage of LAs not receiving an application or giving a permission (percentage calculated on the base of LAs able to provide information), the number of applications and the number of pitches involved. The number of LAs involved in each category is also included. Pitch numbers are an underestimate because not all LAs were able to provide information on the number of pitch involved in applications (for example, while 131 LAs were able to give information about the number of applications received for new sites, only 111 could give information about the number of pitches involved, which is not always specified in an application). The discrepancy between numbers of authorities able to provide application and pitch information is smaller for permissions than for applications.

Personal permission is permanent for the applicant, but will end on the applicants death. It does not therefore contribute to pitch provision in the long term.

35

Table 4.5: Summary of planning applications received and permissions granted 2006-09: England Type of application/permission No. LAs = No. No. pitches 0 applications New sites Applications received 122 622 1,733+ 48% 131 LAs 111 LAs Permanent permissions granted 202 128 430 80% 50 LAs 49 LAs Temporary/personal 206 95 264 permissions granted 81% 47 LAs 44 LAs Permanent permissions 223 55 142 on appeal 88% 30 LAs 30 LAs Temporary/personal 205 89 312 permissions on appeal 81% 48 LAs 43 LAs Extended sites Applications received 198 133 433 79% 54 LAs 53 LAs Permanent permissions granted 217 71 199 85% 37 LAs 35 LAs Temporary/personal 240 22 44 permissions granted 95% 13 LAs 11 LAs Permanent permissions 244 10 28 on appeal 96% 9 LAs 9 LAs Temporary/personal 246 9 23 permissions on appeal 97% 7LAs 7 LAs Renewals of permission Applications received 221 83 197 87% 32LAs 28 LAs Permanent permissions granted 237 27 72 94% 16 LAs 15 LAs Temporary/personal 233 32 47 permissions granted 92% 20 LAs 17 LAs Permanent permissions 248 5 5 on appeal 98% 5 LAs 4 LAs Temporary/personal 244 17 35 permissions on appeal 96% 9 LAs 9 LAs

Some general points emerge from this table:

36

Just over half of LAs which provided the information had received at least one application for a new private Gypsy and Traveller site in the four years 2006 to 2009. Applications for new sites were much more frequent and widespread than applications for site extensions or renewal of temporary planning permissions.

No more than a fifth of LAs reported a planning permission in any of the specific categories identified thus, for example, while 52 per cent of LAs had received an application for a new site, only 20 per cent had granted at least one permanent permission, only 19 per cent had granted a temporary or personal permission and so on. However, if all forms of permission are combined, the proportion rises. Of the 131 LAs which had received an application, 106 (or 81 per cent) had either granted a permission or had had a permission granted on appeal.

It is clear that the private sites involved are very small on average. The average number of pitches involved in applications for new sites, where numbers are known, is 3.6 pitches. Renewals of temporary permission appear to be smaller on average. Site extensions are about three pitches on average, but the size of the existing site being extended is not known.

An issue of particular interest is the relative success of applications. Table 4.6 presents some basic information on this. The number of permissions of various sorts is expressed as a percentage of applications received. This is imperfect because of time lags some permissions will relate to applications submitted before 2006 and some 2009 applications were not determined at the time of the survey. Not all the difference between applications received and permissions granted can be assumed to be attributable to refusals of planning permission since some applications are withdrawn by the applicant. However, the table gives an impression. The second part of the table expresses different forms of decision as a percentage of all permissions. Very crudely, about six in 10 applications for a new site succeed in that a planning permission of some sort results. However, the significance of temporary or personal permissions is clear since there is an even split between the types of permission. Temporary permissions help Gypsies and Travellers in the short term, but do not resolve all uncertainty since they will expire at some point in the future. About six in 10 permissions for new sites are granted by the local authority itself, while four in 10 come only after an appeal (against a refusal of planning permission or enforcement action). Despite the urgings of ODPM Circular 01/2006, some LAs are still refusing applications which planning inspectors are willing to grant at least on a 37

temporary basis. Appeals obviously lead to added cost and uncertainty for Gypsy and Traveller applicants. Both temporary permissions and appeal decisions probably reflect the relatively slow progress being made with DPDs which will identify the locations where sites can be approved. Table 4.6: Indications of outcomes of planning applications 2006-09: England Outcome Percentage of applications: New sites Extended sites Renewals Permanent permission granted 21% 53% 33% Temporary/personal permission granted 15% 17% 39% Permanent permission on appeal 9% 8% 6% Temporary/personal permission on appeal 14% 7% 20%

All permanent permissions All temporary/personal permissions All permissions granted by LA All permissions granted on appeal All permissions

29%

61%

39%

30% 36% 23% 59%

23% 70% 14% 84%

59% 71% 27% 98%

Percentage of all permissions: Permanent 50% Temporary/personal 50% Granted by LA 61% Granted on appeal 39%

72% 28% 83% 17%

40% 60% 73% 27%

The picture for site extensions is much more positive. The overall success rate is higher at 84 per cent, and higher proportions of permissions are granted on a permanent basis and by LAs rather than through the appeal system. Applications for renewal of a temporary permission are almost all successful on the basis of this information. However, three-fifths are only

38

granted a further temporary permission, and a quarter have to go through the appeals system to succeed. While the figures are not directly comparable with those in the first progress review, the overall conclusions of the earlier study on crude success rates and the importance of temporary permissions and the appeals system are reinforced by the greater detail available in this later study. Looking at figures for 2009, since the first review, might give an indication of trends over time. The picture for new sites numerically most common is mixed. The number of applications received (210) is significantly above the annual average number over the period 2006 to 2009. The success rate was below the 2006-09 average at 47 per cent but the number of permissions still exceeded the annual average of the longer period (99 compared to 92). A higher proportion of permissions granted in 2009 were permanent (61 per cent) and a higher proportion were granted directly by the LA (74 per cent). It is not entirely clear from a single year whether these mark a trend, but it is a potentially encouraging development. Our final analysis of the data is to show the number of pitches approved at LA level for the period 2006 to 2009. Table 4.7 shows the percentage of LAs in different bands according to the number of pitches approved. The first column shows all approvals for new and extended sites and renewals of planning permission, permanent or temporary/personal, and both direct or through the appeal system. The second column relates to permanent permissions only, and the third to temporary/personal permissions only. The second set of three columns repeats the analysis for high-priority LAs only.

Table 4.7: Number of pitches in planning permissions by local authority 2006-09: England All local authorities High-priority local authorities Pitches All Perm. Temp. All Perm. Temp. None 57% 67% 69% 22% 28% 29% 1-5 15% 15% 18% 4% 4% 21% 39

6-15 16-30 Over 30 Sample

16% 7% 5% 237

10% 7% 1% 247

9% 1% 2% 243

13% 17% 43% 23

36% 24% 8% 25

25% 4% 21% 24

Over half of all English LAs responding to the survey (57 per cent) had had no pitches approved on private sites over the four-year period. Only about one in eight had had over 15 pitches approved. In contrast, only around a fifth of high-priority LAs had had no permissions, and over half (60 per cent) had had approvals for over 15 pitches. Over a fifth of high-priority LAs had had over 30 pitches approved through temporary/personal permissions. This might be interpreted as the planning system working in the sense that Gypsies and Travellers are getting permissions in high-need areas, but also as storing up future problems when temporary permissions end. Wales Table 4.8 shows basic information on applications and permissions for the 16 Welsh LAs responding to the survey. The small sample obviously leads to very low absolute figures, but it is also apparent that the proportions of LAs receiving applications and having the different forms of permissions are rather lower than in England.

40

Table 4.8: Summary of planning applications received and permissions granted 2006-09: Wales Type of application/permission No. LAs = No. No. pitches 0 applications New sites Applications received 9 14 65 56% 7 LAs 7 LAs Permanent permissions granted 15 1 2 94% 1 LA 1 LA Temporary/personal 14 3 12 permissions granted 88% 2 LAs 2 LAs Permanent permissions 16 on appeal 100% Temporary/personal 15 1 3 permissions on appeal 94% 1 LA 1 LA Extended sites Applications received 14 133 433 88% 54 LAs 53 LAs Permanent permissions granted 16 100% Temporary/personal 16 permissions granted 100% Permanent permissions 15 1 2 on appeal 94% 1 LA 1 LA Temporary/personal 16 permissions on appeal 100% Renewals of permission Applications received 16 100% Permanent permissions granted 15 1 1 94% 1 LA 1 LA Temporary/personal 16 permissions granted 100% Permanent permissions 16 on appeal 100% Temporary/personal 16 permissions on appeal 100% The success rate of applications is also lower than in England. For new sites, all permissions represent 36 per cent of applications in Wales, compared to 59 per cent in England. Among permissions for new sites, higher proportions in Wales were temporary/personal permissions than in England (80 per cent

41

compared to 50 per cent) but appeals were less significant, accounting for 20 per cent of permissions granted compared to 39 per cent in England. Three-quarters of responding Welsh LAs had had no permissions of any sort granted for private sites over the period 2006 to 2009; three had had between one and five pitches granted permission and one had had between six and 15 pitches granted. The permission on the larger site was temporary/personal. Taken together, these findings underline the relatively lesser significance to date of private site provision in Wales than in England. Pitch provision achieved: Social sites The survey asked about new social sites developed since 2006 and additional pitches provided through extensions to existing social sites. To gauge net change, it also asked about pitches lost from existing social sites and social sites closed entirely since 2006. Finally, respondents were asked about new social sites or site extensions in development or planned. England Table 4.9 summarises the findings on changes in numbers of social sites and pitches over the period 2006 to 2009.

Table 4.9: Summary of changes in number of social sites and pitches 2006-09: England Pitches No. No. sites Residential Transit All

42

LAs New sites Extended sites Pitches lost on existing sites Sites lost Net change New sites and extensions planned 8 17 3 5 NA 14 17 3 5 +9 70 31 4 69 +28 28 13 25 +16 98 44 4 94 +44

68

93

620+

170+

790+

There has been a modest increase in pitch availability on social sites since 2006 (44 pitches in all). In net terms, site extensions have contributed significantly to the total since new sites are offset by sites closing. Authorities were asked why social sites had closed; not all gave an answer. One special case involved a site on land required for the London Olympic Games. This had been replaced by three small sites providing the same number of pitches. A transit site closed due to vandalism. A residential site in an unsuitable location adjacent to a motorway had been closed following a period when it remained empty. It had had a bad reputation for anti-social and criminal behaviour. Pitches had also been lost in site refurbishments. A positive feature of progress on social site provision is that the number of new sites/pitches created in 2009 is much higher than achieved in earlier years. This rising trend follows through into plans for new or extended social sites. The numbers for planned sites implies a greatly enhanced rate of provision in future years. Realism suggests that this rate of increase will not be achieved unless increasing financial support for new site delivery is available through the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant or some other source. High-priority LAs contributed 18 additional pitches through new and extended sites to the overall net gain of 44 pitches (41 per cent). Their plans contribute 116 pitches (97 residential and 19 transit) to the overall total of 790 pitches (15 per cent). Since high-priority LAs contribute 38 per cent of estimated pitch need for all responding LAs, their plans for additional social pitches

43

represent much less than their share, implying that high-priority LAs may be concentrating particularly on private provision to meet needs. This reflects current authorised provision (measured by proxy through the Caravan Count). Overall, in January 2009, 48 per cent of caravans on authorised sites in England were on social sites. In high-priority areas the respective figure was 37 per cent, compared with 53 per cent in medium and 58 per cent in low priority areas. Thus, the higher the requirement, the lower the proportion of current provision comprising social sites. This seems set to continue in future. Wales Table 4.10 summarises social site and pitch changes in Wales since 2006. As can be seen, the net result on overall pitch numbers is neutral or negative. Two temporary residential sites have been developed essentially tolerated encampments with minimal facilities. At the same time an equal number of residential pitches have been lost, with an additional number of transit pitches lost. It is clear from survey answers that, while the number of pitches may have declined as a consequence of these changes, quality of existing sites should have been enhanced since several of the losses are associated with site refurbishment programmes. One authority is running down a poor-quality site prior to closure.

44

Table 4.10: Summary of changes in number of social sites and pitches 2006-09: Wales Pitches No. No. sites Residential Transit All LAs New sites Extended sites Pitches lost on existing sites Sites lost Net change 2 0 6 0 NA 2 (temp) 6 +2 (temp) 14 (temp) 14 0 6 -6 14 20 -6

New sites and extensions planned

24

24

Future plans for provision are more positive with three sites, 24 residential pitches being planned. One authority has already been awarded Grant for new site provision, but was unable to gain planning consent; it still intends to progress the proposal. Private pitch provision Questions C3 and C4 asked how many private pitches had been completed since 2006 with permanent and temporary planning permissions respectively. Question C5 asked about the number of pitches on private sites which had been closed or otherwise ceased to be available for use by Gypsies and Travellers.

England Table 4.11 summarises gains and losses overall. 45

Table 4.11: Summary of private pitch completions 2006-09: England Change Residential pitches Transit pitches Completions with permanent 625 27 planning permission 252 LAs 252 LAs Completions with temporary/ 506 16 personal planning permission 252 LAs 253 LAs All completions 1,131 43 252 LAs 252 LAs Pitches lost 30 25 242 LAs 242 LAs Net change (against all completions) 1,101 18 Net change (permanent permissions only) 595 2 In all, 1,174 pitches were completed on private sites since 2006 representing a net gain of 1,119 pitches when the small reported loss of pitches is taken into account. The majority of these completions are residential pitches (96 per cent). Completion rates look less impressive when only those with a permanent planning permission are considered 682 pitches of which 96 per cent are residential. High-priority LAs contributed 570 completed pitches in all 49 per cent of the total. They were slightly more likely than the average to have completed pitches with temporary/personal permissions, contributing 52 per cent of pitches completed with such permissions. This contribution is greater than their share of overall estimated pitch need, and supports the comment above that private provision is the main means by which high-priority LAs are meeting needs. In contrast to the picture described above in which social site/pitch additions were higher in 2009 than the annual average for the full 2006 to 2009 period, private pitch completions (not net change in numbers) in 2009 at 272 were below the annual average for the full period of 294. It is not possible to say whether this is significant as a trend. Table 4.12 shows the percentage of LAs and high-priority LAs in the different bands for residential pitch completions over the 2006 to 2009 period.

46

Table 4.12: Number of private residential pitches completed by local authority 2006-09: England All local authorities High priority local authorities Pitches All Perm. Temp. All Perm. Temp. None 58% 71% 71% 23% 30% 31% 1-5 20% 15% 21% 8% 19% 38% 6-15 15% 9% 6% 19% 30% 12% 16-30 4% 3% 1% 12% 11% 8% Over 30 4% 1% 1% 38% 11% 12% Sample 251 252 252 26 27 26 Overall, less than half of all LAs had private residential pitch completions since 2006. There are 10 LAs with more than 30 completed residential pitches. Four of these are in the East of England, two in the South East and one each in the North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands and West Midlands. Eight of the 10 are high-priority LAs. Wales Survey answers suggest very little change in the number of private pitches in Wales since 2006. Four LAs reported pitch completions. Two had two completions each (four in total) with permanent planning permission. LAs reported sites with nine and 14 pitches with temporary permissions. Thus total completions are 27 of which 23 have temporary permissions only. This should be offset by a reported loss of two residential pitches in one LA. Overall pitch provision Bringing together the net changes from Tables 4.9 and 4.11 for England suggests a net increase of 1,163 pitches (residential and transit on social and private sites) over the period 2006 to 2009. The net change is smaller at 641 when only pitches with a permanent planning permission are included. The private sector accounts for 96 per cent of all the net increase and for 92 per cent of net increase with permanent planning permissions. For a more precise analysis, looking only at LAs providing all items of information (which has the effect of reducing the sample in England) shows the following picture (this includes all residential and transit pitch increases and decreases in both the social and private sectors): England: 1,034 pitch increase overall (238 LAs) England: 595 pitch increase with permanent planning permissions (238 LAs) Wales: 19 pitch increase overall (16 LAs) Wales: 4 pitch decrease if only permanent planning permissions 47

are included (16 LAs) In England the extent of increase is clearly related to the priority category of the LA. For example, the average net increase in pitch numbers from all changes and types of planning permission is: High priority Medium priority Low priority 23.6 pitch increase 3.1 pitch increase 0.9 pitch increase

Thus it appears that pitches are being provided predominantly in the right places. The next section examines whether the overall rate of progress can be seen as adequate. Assessments of adequacy of progress As in the first Commission progress review, we have tried to assess adequacy of progress of pitch provision in relation to estimated requirements for additional pitches over a five-year period. This has been done on the basis of the four-year data for 2006 to 2009 taking account of all changes including social and private sectors and pitch loss as well as gains. Since progress has been so small in Wales, the analysis is for England only and is restricted to LAs providing all relevant items of information. Table 4.13 shows the number of years it would take, at the current rate of progress, to meet five-year requirements looking at all change, and at change involving permanent planning permissions only. The different priority categories and regions are distinguished.

Table 4.13: Years needed to meet five-year pitch requirements: England Average number of years needed to meet five-year pitch requirements at current rate Base of progress All change Change involving

48

All LAs Priority category High Medium Low Region North East North West Yorkshire & Humber East Midlands West Midlands East London South East South West

238 21 156 61 10 32 16 30 21 37 23 50 19

16 11 22 9 528 31 24 11 16 9 27 17 20

permanent permissions 27 18 38 19 Infinite 84 57 13 19 21 44 40 21

The main message from the table is that the current rate of progress is insufficient to meet five-year requirements even within 10 years, and including temporary as well as permanent permissions (this would take 16 years at the current rate of progress). High-priority LAs need to double their rate of progress (to reduce from 11 years), or almost to quadruple it if permanent permissions only are included (from 18 years). Progress is more satisfactory in low-priority areas where needs are, by definition, small (nine years including all change and 19 years including only permanent permissions). It is least adequate in the medium-priority areas (22 years including all change and no less than 38 years including only permanent permissions). At regional level, progress is particularly unsatisfactory in the three northern regions and London. Progress in East of England looks relatively good when all change is considered (nine years), but much worse when only change involving permanent planning permissions is considered (21 years). These figures are more pessimistic than those included in the first Commission progress review where it was calculated that it would take 10 years on average to meet requirements counting all completions, and 18 years counting permanent permissions only. There are four possible factors involved here: The samples are different, and this inevitably means figures will vary depending on the composition of respondent LAs.

49

The current analysis has taken pitch loss into account as well as gains. In so far as pitches and sites will continue to be lost in future, this is the more realistic measure. This has a significant impact, especially in the North East.

We now have four full years data and have annualised progress by dividing by four. In the earlier study, the period was assumed to be two years for calculation purposes although it was actually longer.

As noted above, the rate of completions of private pitches in 2009 was lower than the average for the period since 2006. Adding in this year, therefore, has the effect of reducing the annual average used to calculate how many pitches might be added over five years.

While it is hard to be precise about the figures, the general conclusion is clear the rate of progress towards meeting estimated pitch requirements is far from adequate. At the level of individual LAs, 35 (15 per cent of those providing all relevant information) are on track to meet their requirements within five years, and a further 25 (11 per cent) within 10 years. This is counting all net changes. Looking only at changes involving permanent permissions, 15 LAs (six per cent) are on track to meet requirements within five years and 24 (10 per cent) within 10 years. It follows that the great majority of LAs have either made no progress at all to date, or have made net additions to pitch numbers implying that requirements will only be met within a period exceeding 10 years. Local authority perceptions of likelihood of meeting pitch shortfalls Question A10 of the survey asked whether identified pitch shortfalls will be met during the first five-year planning period (for example by 2011). Table 4.14 summarises answers for England, distinguishing high-priority LAs, and for Wales.

Table 4.14: Local authorities assessment of likelihood of meeting identified pitch shortfalls in five years England Wales All LAs High Priority No. % No. % No. % Yes 5 2 1 6 certainly Yes 89 34 12 41 6 38 probably 50

No unlikely No certainly No answer

118 26 23

45 10 9

9 6 2

31 21 7

3 6

19 38

The majority of LAs in England, and of high-priority LAs, thought it unlikely that they would meet identified pitch targets in the first five-year planning period. This is a more pessimistic assessment than emerged from the first progress review where 54 per cent of LAs thought that they either certainly or probably would meet the shortfall. Given that, stemming from many GTAAs, the first five-year period started in 2006 and is due to end in 2011, even current answers seem somewhat optimistic. It may be that LAs have in mind different planning periods commencing, for example, from the date of an RSS review or their own planning documents. Optimists thinking that they would certainly or probably meet identified pitch shortfalls were more likely than the average to be in the East of England and East Midlands. It may not be a coincidence that these are the two regions where there is an approved Regional Spatial Strategy policy specifying how many additional pitches each LA must provide. There is also above average optimism among the small number of LAs with a Development Plan Document identifying locations for Gypsy and Traveller sites. There is no apparent relationship between perceived likelihood of meeting identified pitch shortfalls and the size of that shortfall. However, LAs unable to give a figure for residential pitch requirements at all were particularly unlikely to think that their shortfall would be met. There was a relationship, as might be expected, between achieved progress and perceived likelihood of meeting the shortfall optimists had achieved an average 7.6 pitch increase since 2006 compared with a 2.3 pitch increase achieved by pessimists. It is possible, therefore, to identify some factors which seem to affect whether or not an LA thinks that it will meet identified pitch shortfalls, even if our assessment is that some are being overly optimistic in their assessment. Examination of reasons given for not expecting to meet shortfalls sheds more light on the topic. Specific local reasons for being unlikely to meet the shortfall were given by some respondents for example the impact of local government reorganisation, an unsuccessful application for Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant

51

money or being unable to proceed with a selected site for some reason. However, most answers involved one or more of five common themes: The reason given by the largest number of respondents concerns the timing of the production of a Development Plan Document which will identify locations. This simply leaves too little time for site development to meet a five-year target. Insufficient applications are coming forward during the plan-making process to meet requirements in a purely reactive way. The next most frequently mentioned reason is the problem of finding suitable locations for sites. Several factors were mentioned including flood zones, high land values, small and densely developed areas, and public opposition. Many LAs in the North West and South East specifically referred to the RSS review process and its effect on pitch requirements. A smaller number of LAs referred to the cost of site provision and funding constraints. This was mentioned by one Welsh authority where matched funding is required even when an application for the New Sites Grant is successful. The final theme, which relates to many of the reasons given above, is just the sheer length of time the process takes. This and the other themes are illustrated in the quotations from survey answers in the box at the end of this chapter. Some of the reasons given for being unlikely to meet pitch requirements within the first five years, as envisaged by ODPM Circular 01/2006 in England, might be interpreted as excuses obscuring lack of commitment and priority. However, the impression given by many answers is one of people genuinely trying to act as quickly as possible and being frustrated, in part at least, by the system and realities of site provision. The barriers to site provision and how they can be overcome are discussed further in Chapter 7. Examples of why is it unlikely that identified pitch shortfalls will be met during the first five-year planning period (based on LA respondents views) The Site Allocations Development Plan Document will not be completed by 2011, there have been no applications for private sites in the last few years and there are no unauthorised encampments or developments. There are currently no RSLs in [county] who are proactive in the provision of Gypsy and Travel pitches. 52

[District council in East of England] The shortfalls are unlikely to be met by 2011, as the [sub-regional] GTAA was only agreed in September 2008. 2011 is less than two years away and the LDF will not be progressed to a sufficient extent by that date to enable the delivery of a large number of new schemes. The Council has to operate the LDF system as set out in government statute and regulations including extensive and onerous evidence collection, public consultation and public inquiry. The processes involved in the current LDF system do not lend themselves to bringing forward any sites whether for housing, Gypsies and Travellers, employment quickly. A start could be made to meeting some of the shortfall if suitable planning applications and schemes can be progressed, either privately or by the Council, and judged against existing UDP policies. However there appears little prospect of private individuals bringing sites forward at present and funding for the development and subsequent management and maintenance of such sites also needs to be put in place. The Council has however been working in partnership with neighbouring authorities and also independently to try to identify suitable sites. [Metropolitan district in Yorkshire & Humber] It will be dependent on applications for a Gypsy/Traveller site. There have been nil applications in the last 10 years. [Unitary LA in the North East] Lack of suitable land within a very tight urban area. Although there is the potential to expand the existing site, this would bring the site well over the recommended pitch density, which could lead to significant management issues. Further investigations into suitable sites are still underway, as well as investigating alternative ways of meeting pitch provision through sub-regional arrangements. [District council in East of England] The identification of land through the planning process has been problematic and has resulted in little or no appropriate sites coming forward. Alternative techniques have had to be applied in bringing sites forward that have resulted in impacts on the delivery of sites. [Unitary LA in Yorkshire & Humber]

53

There is likely to be significant difficulty in providing additional pitches without more government grant funding being made available because of the wide-ranging pressures on local finances. There are also significant capacity issues within the Borough and it is considered that most housing sites identified in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Document would be unsuitable for the provision of sites for the Travelling community (for example, most are large regeneration sites or too small to be viable for site provision). [Metropolitan district in the North West] We do not know what requirements we will have to meet. The GTAA identifies need, not requirements; the South East Plan will determine whether and where that need should be met. We are awaiting the outcome of that process before deciding what to do. In the meantime, planning permission has been granted for the expansion of an existing public site but, until we receive a firm decision on grant funding, we do not know whether, or when, this will go ahead. Even if this does go ahead (and theoretically it could be ready for occupation some time during 2011) we do not know at this stage what additional requirement we will have to meet. [District council in the South East] The development of a new site to meet the identified shortfall involves many stages - site identification, negotiation with owner, pre-planning discussion, consultation with residents, application for planning permission, application for capital grant funding, identification and selection of management organisation, site development work. This is a lengthy process that can take an estimated three to four years from the time a site is identified through to completion. The development of a new site is also dependent on the availability of government funding. As a suitable site has not yet been identified in X, no new site will be developed by 2011. X Council aims to meet the identified shortfalls by 2017. [London Borough] We have made good progress towards increasing site provision; the timing of government decisions, public consultation processes, market forces and procedures for land sale, as well as processes within neighbouring local communities may mean that we are unlikely to meet

54

all the need by 2011. However, we are on course to increase provision in the short term and we have long-term strategic plans. [Unitary LA in the South West] Work to identify land from Council terrier is ongoing as is the DPD. Consultations, bidding for funds and ongoing planning through private provision all takes time. However there is clear light at the end of the tunnel, pieces of the jigsaw are fitting in nicely and I predict provision will be complete before the end of 2013. [Unitary LA in the South West]

55

5.

Social site quality

Chapter 3 included information on the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant (England) and Gypsy Traveller Site Refurbishment Grant and Gypsy and Traveller New Sites Grant (Wales) awards since 2006. It noted that, to date, most Grant awards have been for site refurbishment although an increasing proportion of awards have been devoted to new site development in the most recent bidding rounds. This chapter reports on survey findings about perceived social site quality and therefore, indirectly, on the likely calls for further refurbishment Grant demand. England Almost six in 10 local authorities (LAs) in England (57 per cent) said that they had one or more social Gypsy and Traveller sites in their area. This is almost exactly the proportion of English LAs as a whole with a social site recorded in the July 2009 Caravan Count (58 per cent). Of the survey respondents with at least one site, almost half (45 per cent) said that they had some significant concern over the quality and/or sustainability of a social site in their area. Yorkshire & Humber had an above average level of concern (78 per cent) while the North East, East and London all had below average levels of concern (30 to 33 per cent). Levels of concern were above average among metropolitan districts (68 per cent) and below for district councils (40 per cent) and London Boroughs (33 per cent). Levels of concern were above average (61 per cent) among low-priority LAs (which were significantly less likely than others to have a social site at all (30 per cent). It is not at all clear why there should be greater concerns about conditions in low-priority LAs. Respondents were asked to describe their concerns, and to say whether there were firm plans for addressing them. Survey answers reveal a range of concerns over social sites. These are illustrated in the examples at the end of the chapter. Most frequent concerns relate to the age and physical condition of the site, amenity units and infrastructure. Sometimes the point is specifically made that the site no longer meets Gypsy and Traveller expectations for space and facilities, or cannot meet the needs of ageing or disabled residents. Condition issues are very occasionally linked to vandalism, but more frequently to overcrowding and doubling up on pitches. Poor physical

conditions are sometimes associated with environmental concerns. Most of the LAs identifying physical condition concerns had either already applied for the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant or were intending to do so. Some described the consultation activities with site residents to assist the improvement planning process. Some plans included the provision of additional pitches some would lead to pitch loss in the creation of fewer, larger pitches better able to meet the needs of residents. Some proposals effectively meant rebuilding the site anew on the same and/or adjacent land. Locational and environmental concerns were next in significance. Proximity to motorways, railway lines and electricity pylons were mentioned as well as other unsuitable land uses such as waste transfer stations and heavy commercial activities. Flood risk was mentioned by several LAs. A few LAs referred to distance from shops and other services. Sometimes subsequent urban growth can cause problems for a site which was well located initially as where a major urban extension will engulf a site developed on the edge of a town. Such concerns are harder to deal with. There were references to mitigation measures, for example to reduce flood risk or to create a noise barrier. A few respondents referred to relocation intentions, but these were not at present firm plans. Social issues, anti-social behaviour and other management problems were less frequently mentioned. Friction between families appears to be a usual underlying cause. This can also affect future pitch allocations if applicants are unwilling to live on a site because of existing residents and can cause under-occupation. Some respondents referred to plans for improving site management, but concerns about social issues are clearly difficult to address and can seem intractable. Overcrowding was mentioned as a concern in its own right by several LAs. Not all had any plans to remedy it; no one referred to new site development in this context. Three LAs referred to concerns because of limited leases on the land. All were engaged in negotiations with the landowner to extend the lease (or the site-owning county council was involved in such negotiations). Three additional impressions emerge from the survey answers:

57

Most, but not all, LAs acknowledging concerns about the condition or sustainability had some plans for remedying the concerns. The Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant is obviously very important to many of the plans concerning the physical conditions of sites. Plans may not be implemented were Grant not to be available.

There are many references to other partners in discussions and plans to remedy concerns. In particular several LAs referred to housing associations as potential partners. It may be that Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), especially where they have been formed to take on former council housing (Large Scale Voluntary Transfer or LSVT), are becoming more active in this field.

Wales Almost two-thirds of LAs responding to the survey in Wales (10 LAs or 63 per cent) said that they had one or more social Gypsy and Traveller sites in their area. This is slightly higher than the average for all Welsh LAs (59 per cent) shown by the Caravan Count. Of Welsh survey respondents with at least one site, two-thirds (six LAs) said that they had some significant concern over the quality and/or sustainability of a social site in their area. They were asked to describe these concerns, and to say whether there were firm plans for addressing them. Most issues underlying concerns in Wales appear similar to those in England with need for refurbishment and improved space standards being mentioned. Flood risk and coastal erosion were also mentioned as concerns. Two LAs referred to being successful in applying for Grant to address their concerns; a further LA is reviewing options. Two sites had rather different concerns: One of the sites is a temporary site where an encampment is being tolerated for New Travellers after the Council failed to get possession of its own land. The location is not suitable for a site, being close to a busy road. The Council has agreed to provide portable toilet units, a drinking water supply and better refuse collection. One site was designated for closure during the 1990s but was never officially closed as a small number of Gypsy Traveller households remained on it. Given the uncertain future, the site fell into disrepair. The site has now been allocated in the Local Development Plan and has

58

received Grant. The plans are to completely refurbish the site in line with site design guidance. Examples of concerns with social sites and plans for remedy (based on LA respondents views) Age and physical condition The existing amenity blocks at the X site in X are totally inadequate, are a health and safety hazard and are not fit for purpose. A bid for HCA [Homes and Communities Agency] grant for amenity block improvements was made to the HCA in June 2009. We currently await their decision. If the bid for HCA grant is approved, the full total of 935,007 to refurbish unsatisfactory amenity blocks and provide one additional disabled pitch will resolve the current problems. [Unitary LA in the North East] Part of the existing site would benefit from improvements to space standards to certain pitches. Remodelling of part of the existing social site has already been undertaken with match-funding of 25 per cent by the local authority and the remainder of the funding from the Welsh Assembly Government. The part-remodelling was undertaken to improve space standards on the site including improved utility blocks and living space. There is currently insufficient capital available to improve the remainder of the site. [Welsh LA] The current site offers 28 very modest, similar size plots with amenity blocks offering minimum facilities by current standards. The current size, number of pitches and layout does not meet demand or aspirations of the community. Concerns are also held regarding the health and safety issues when the site is at its capacity especially during winter periods. The immediate availability of adjacent council-owned land offered an ideal opportunity to significantly improve the layout and design of the site, offering a variety of pitch sizes with more flexible pitches as well as delivering modern energy-efficient amenities and services, plus two additional pitches. [Metropolitan district in Yorkshire & Humber]

59

Site is now over 30 years old. Pitches are small and cramped. Amenity units contain bathroom and storage area only. Whilst sanitary ware was replaced some 1215 years ago, and the units themselves are kept in a good condition, they are insufficient for modern needs and expectations. There is no circulatory road around the site and some areas are prone to flooding. A plan has been formulated, with the full involvement of residents, to replace the site on the field adjacent. This will enable all residents to have pitch and amenity units of a size and type to comply with guidelines previously published. A bid has been placed for monies from the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant to rebuild the site on the field adjacent. X MBC [metropolitan borough council] has put a significant sum aside from its own resources towards the cost of this rebuild. [Metropolitan district in the West Midlands] There are a number of issues, the main ones being: site feuds and relationship breakdown between two groups of residents, contractors reluctant to carry out works on site. The site amenities require major upgrading work both service infrastructure and amenity blocks, the latter housing kitchen and bathroom facilities for residents. The county council which owns the site has appointed a company to oversee the site. A stock condition survey will advise on the works needed to the site. A partnership group will input into a site improvement action plan and consider future ownership and management options with a suitable provider. [District council in the East Midlands] Location and environment The site is liable to flooding (functional flood plain Zone 3b). The site needs refurbishing. A planning application for refurbishment is due to be submitted (by X CC [county council]), subject to further consideration of flood mitigation measures. In the meantime, X CC has been successful in applying for government grant towards the cost of the refurbishment. [District council in the South East] X, although improved over the years and is a well-managed popular site providing access to a range of services on site, its location is unsuitable being positioned adjacent to a Waste Transfer Station. Improvements (noise barriers etc) to the Waste Transfer Station are currently being implemented during its extension.

60

[Metropolitan district in the North West] X is a large site 41 pitches. It is positioned under pylons. Although we couldnt afford to lose it at this stage, it is not ideal. No plans, the site has recently been refurbished using Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant. In the very long term we would hope to reduce the size of the site. District council in East of England Social issues We have one site that is occupied by one authorised tenant and other family members who are unauthorised occupants. No other Gypsy and Traveller families would consider living on a site with the current occupants. The site does not meet the standards recommended by CLG. It is also in a location which is inaccessible by public transport to community facilities such as schools, shops etc. An action plan for addressing the unauthorised occupation is being progressed. Options have been considered for redeveloping the site but further work is required to determine whether it is sustainable/suitable in the long term in light of the issues above. [London Borough] Long and difficult history of anti-social behaviour. Meetings between partners have been taking place and are ongoing. Action has been taken where appropriate. [District council in the South East] Management and tenure Poorly managed and maintained. Uncertain allocation policy. County are exploring the transfer of the site possibly to us. [District council in the South West] Lease on the site is due for renewal within the next few years. We are in ongoing dialogue with the land owner and hope to negotiate a lease extension. There is also potential to address the issue through future pitch provision and we are accounting for this through our current planning processes. [Unitary LA in the South East]

61

6. Gypsy and Traveller accommodation in the local policy context


An important objective of the survey was to explore local authority response to the recommendations of the Equality and Human Rights Commissions briefing paper Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together . For local authorities (LAs) these included: Strong leadership and a commitment to finding long-term solutions. Sufficient site provision and good site management. Good communication with the local community, including Gypsies and Travellers themselves. Develop a holistic vision for their work on Gypsies and Travellers, and embed it in other strategies. Review all policies on Gypsies and Travellers. Support training of elected members and officers. Advise Gypsies and Travellers on the most suitable land for residential use and provide help with the application process. Develop an internal policy on how to deal with racist representations in the planning process. As many as possible of these themes were included in the survey questionnaire, with the findings reported here. A very small number of respondents said that they were not aware of the Simple Solutions report and its recommendations. A small number of others mentioned that they had found the survey useful in drawing attention, in a structured way, to what they should be doing. A holistic vision The question about whether their authority had in place a holistic strategic vision for their work on Gypsies and Travellers, including site provision, came at the end of a sequence of questions about strategies and policies which might be expected to contribute to such a vision. Here it is convenient to consider it first as background to the other findings.

Just a third of English LAs and 31 per cent of Welsh LAs said that they have in place a holistic strategic vision for their work on Gypsies and Travellers. In England, there was very little variation in likelihood of having in place a holistic vision by LA type or region. High-priority LAs were, however, more likely than the average to say they had a holistic vision (45 per cent). Respondents were invited to describe the main elements making up this holistic vision. Some interpreted the question as asking about the documents comprising the strategic vision (Housing Strategy, Core Strategy, Community Strategy) and others about the details of the aims and elements within the overall strategic vision. Some strategic visions were phrased in generic terms thus the vision encompassed aims/services for all members of the community, or all community groups, or all with special needs or special vulnerability without specifically naming Gypsies and Travellers. Others referred specifically to Gypsies and Travellers. Strategic visions specific to Gypsies and Travellers included elements such as site provision, approach to enforcement (unauthorised encampments), support, education and health services, equality issues and access to appropriate services, tackling racism and discrimination, and enhancing community cohesion. There are often references to partnerships between agencies working with Gypsies and Travellers, and to community consultation and engagement. Some strategic visions refer to widening awareness of Gypsy and Traveller communities and cultures and myth-busting. A small selection of answers is included below. The overall impression is that many LAs across England and Wales, albeit a minority of those responding to the survey, now have impressive and comprehensive policies in place for the accommodation and other service needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities. Examples of elements in holistic strategic visions for work on Gypsies and Travellers (based on survey answers) Local Development Framework. Good working relationships with X Gypsy Liaison Group. [District council in the East Midlands] Included in the overall strategic vision for planning and housing as part of the Councils housing strategy and Local Development Framework. [District council in the South East]

63

Gypsy and Traveller Action Plan Gypsy and Traveller Business Plan Housing Strategy Local Development Framework

[Metropolitan district in Yorkshire & Humber] The X Community Strategy Priority 3: Our communities are strong, healthy, safe and inclusive, and encourage cultural diversity, voluntary effort and participation in community life. Delivery includes: 7. Families and individuals with more complex social, learning or health needs, and people whose circumstances make them more vulnerable than others are supported or protected through both appropriate and targeted services. The X Core Strategy spatial vision includes: Throughout X, high priority will have been given to the provision of housing to meet the local needs and aspirations of all households. Strategic objective 5: Provide for a mix of good-quality, sustainable housing development of the right size, type, tenure and affordability to meet the housing needs and aspirations of all sections of the community, including provision for specialist needs and the elderly. [Unitary LA in the West Midlands] Xs Gypsy, Roma, Traveller [GRT] Network is a multi-agency strategic level forum with a multi-agency action plan of priorities to improve joint working around Gypsy and Traveller issues. The three main priority/key action areas are: Undertaking research with the GRT Community. Raising awareness about the culture of the GRT community. Members of the GRT community are empowered, involved,

consulted and informed about service provision. [District council in the North West] The main elements are:

64

Pitches/accommodation. Enforcement strong legal stance on illegal encampments. Support statutory responsibility for vulnerable people including

support for those wishing to enter bricks and mortar accommodation, and for education, health and other services for those on illegal encampments. [Unitary LA in the South East] Clear guidance on how we intend to take forward additional pitch provision in emerging DPDs, the new Housing & Homelessness Strategy. Builds on the vision set out in the Core Spatial Strategy for X. Ratified by member decision to ensure political buy-in. Regular planned consultation, so that local communities and Gypsies and Travellers are clear on our direction. An up-to-date GTAA, with a five-year review planned. Regular briefing notes and training for elected members. A comprehensive housing advice service which takes into account the bricks and mortar needs of Gypsies and Travellers. A [county]-wide housing related support service specifically for Gypsies and Travellers. [District council in the East Midlands] Working in partnership with other local authorities to produce a strategy and protocol of how to deal with unauthorised encampments. Included in all equality and diversity work (Race Equality Duty and Equality Framework). Employment of floating support workers. Own authority is taking a multi-departmental approach. Member, Parish and staff awareness training started. Working with other stakeholders. Working county-wide with other authorities and partners to promote

community cohesion. [District council in East of England] X Councils strategic vision is set out in the draft Gypsies and Travellers strategy. The main elements of the vision are:

65

Work in partnership with local statutory and voluntary agencies to identify and address the needs of Gypsies and Travellers. Identify and address the housing needs of Gypsies and Travellers living in either conventional bricks and mortar housing, or on caravan sites or are homeless.

Promote the health and educational opportunities of Gypsy and Traveller communities. Tackle racism and discrimination experienced by members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. Encourage community cohesion by raising awareness of the Gypsy

and Traveller way of life and seeking the views and opinions of Gypsy and Traveller communities. [London Borough] July 27 2004 X City Council Cabinet Report. I. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised as a racial or ethnic group under Race Relations legislation. II. As part of the Race Impact Assessment it is evident that accommodation provision has a direct link to education, health and social inclusion of, and serious long-term consequences for, the local Gypsy and Traveller community. The report also noted: The integration of the citizenship and human rights of the Gypsy and Traveller community into council service delivery. A need for a more strategic and multi-agency approach towards unauthorised encampments. There is need for affordability in site accommodation and management. The Councils planning policies should contribute towards the duty to promote equality of opportunity, working positively to address the needs and aspirations of Gypsies and Travellers. Where that community has ambitions to provide accommodation for themselves this is particularly important. Advice and assistance could make a positive contribution. [Unitary LA in the South West]

66

Developing sites for Gypsies and Travellers and promoting the needs and benefits of this to the public, as per action 4.2 of our community cohesion action plan.

Improving relations between Gypsies and Travellers in our local communities through specific community projects involving Gypsies and Travellers, young people, voluntary sector partners and community residents associations. Funding for this has already been identified.

Good management of unauthorised encampments involving multi-agency partners which is now being considered for city-wide adoption via the Local Strategic Partnership.

Promoting good race relations and eliminating discrimination as indicated in our Equality Scheme. Bringing together diverse communities to celebrate Gypsy and Traveller culture, eg Gypsy and Traveller month activities. A robust system for dealing with racist incidences. Proactively facilitating Gypsy and Traveller access to services particularly education and health. Making site identification part of our Local Development Framework

(see above). [Unitary LA in the South West] A well-established Multi Agency Forum is in place with an action plan put together in consultation with the Gypsy and Traveller community and a number of key partners. A Gypsy and Traveller Inclusion Officer is in post which has led to the formation of a Gypsy and Traveller community action group therefore there is close engagement and consultation with this community. Work has taken place with the community to develop a DVD to improve awareness on Gypsy and Traveller issues and a myth-buster document has been developed and used at member workshops. A Task & Finish Group has been established to look at community cohesion issues and part of this will deal with media relations and improve information/ education on historical aspects of the Gypsy and Traveller community. An unauthorised encampments protocol has been developed between the police, Housing and Planning but developed in a holistic way to

67

address relevant concerns from a variety of stakeholders including local communities. [Welsh LA] The overall aim of this strategy is: To promote a better understanding of the needs of Gypsies and Travellers in X across partners and ensure future services are planned and delivered in an accessible way to meet those needs. We will achieve this by: Working with individuals from local Gypsy and Traveller communities to promote understanding and mutual respect. Engaging with and listening to these communities. Identifying the range of accommodation needs which exist in X and work with partners to meet those needs. Ensuring Gypsies and Travellers have the opportunity to access health, education, welfare and other relevant services which are delivered in a flexible way to meet their needs. Gypsies and Travellers in X have said they want a strategy that: o Ensures they have a voice about issues that are important to them. o Ensures that they have independent representation when they need it. o Ensures that they are able to access services in the same way as other people. o Ensures that they are not discriminated against. o Ensures that they have adequate and appropriate accommodation. We understand that this vision is extremely challenging and that their achievement will involve far-reaching changes in how we work together and what we do. However, we are committed to tackling the challenges ahead. [Unitary LA in the North East] Where LAs said that their authority did not have a holistic strategic vision in place, they were asked what priority actions they intended to take to develop such a vision. A number of LAs did not reply to this although many did. Twelve LAs explicitly said that they were not intending to take action at present to develop a holistic strategic vision for their work on Gypsies and Travellers. Some said this was not a corporate priority or that direct policy

68

action took precedence over developing a vision. Another sizeable group of LAs referred to ongoing work on their Core Strategy or Development Plan Document, Housing Strategy or equalities work which would lead to such a vision. Others referred to actions they were taking to establish partnerships or consultation forums which would help them move towards a holistic strategic vision. A selection of answers is shown in the box below. The impression given is that, while many LAs are undoubtedly moving towards developing a vision, a significant minority will not have much in place in the near future. Not all believe that this is a reasonable priority. Examples of priority actions to develop a holistic strategic vision (based on survey answers) Not a corporate priority at present. [District council in the South East] Plans will be developed following the local elections in May 2010. [London Borough] We are giving high priority to the provision of three new sites in the district which we consider more important and relevant than a holistic strategic vision. [District council in the East Midlands] As strategic documents are reviewed they will incorporate policies that reflect the needs of Gypsies and Travellers, eg Housing Strategy, LDF. [District council in the West Midlands] X Council is currently developing an action plan for achieving excellent status of the new Equalities Framework for Local Government which will include the needs of Gypsies and Travellers. [Metropolitan district in the North West] The council has a clear strategic approach that is set down in the Community Strategy, the Housing Strategy and the Core Strategy. The council will need to take a view on whether a further strategic vision, specifically for Gypsies and Travellers, is required. [District council in the South West]

69

We currently work with planning and once a site is identified we will then link to community groups, the settled community, other agencies and organisations. [Metropolitan district in the North East] Removing silo thinking with closer integrated links between council services and their provision. This is currently happening informally. [District council in the South West] Joint work to be undertaken involving Housing, Planning and Equalities to establish the forum and to monitor required actions including identifying a site for inclusion in the LDP. [Welsh LA] We are looking at developing a Gypsy and Traveller working group including all relevant departments, members and suitable external customers/consultants, who together will ensure that a holistic vision is developed. [Unitary LA in the North West] Process of developing a strategy however would anticipate priority actions would include: Further promotion of X County Council services. Working through partnership structures to support the Gypsy and Traveller community. Improved consultation with the community through the Inclusion Reference Group and BME Forum. The Inclusion Reference Group (IRG) is led by XCC and is made up of representatives from Xs diverse communities who will act as critical friends to both XCC and partners in the development of policies and strategies. The IRG will also be able to scrutinise current policies and plans. The [county] Gypsy and Traveller liaison officer has been invited to join both this group and the BME Forum and it is anticipated that he will be accompanied by a community representative. [District council in the North West] To allocate a permanent site in X Area Action Plan. Longer term to provide a further transit site. We employ a member of the Travelling 70

community to act as a liaison between ourselves and to provide intelligence on possible inward migration so we can make sensible provision for tolerated sites. [District council in East of England] The Council proposes reviewing its position further with respect to the provision of additional facilities for use by Gypsies and Travellers in 2011 following the Short Stay Stopping facilities provided in 2009 having been available for use for a period of 12 months. It is suggested with this information and data available from the 2010 X GTAA that the authority will be in a stronger position than it is currently to develop a holistic vision for the future provision of Gypsy and Traveller pitches in the district. [District council in East of England] Priority actions to achieving strategy vision for Gypsy and Traveller services include: Forming working group from services across the authority to share knowledge and form overall strategic objective for Gypsy and Traveller services over the next five years. Form sub-groups to assess particular issues in relation to the Gypsy and Traveller community for example: accommodation; knowledge and information; community, and health, education and safer communities. These sub-groups will be formed of cross-service officer representation and look at the key requirements for that specific issue that need to be achieved in order to accomplish the strategic vision within five years. Representatives from Gypsy and Traveller community groups, and other public services are invited to work with the strategy group to form the vision and objectives for Gypsy and Traveller services in the short, medium and long term. The sub-groups will establish a timetable of actions that need to be taken in each area in order to achieve the overall aims for Gypsy and Traveller services. One of the essential actions to be taken forward will be regular communication and interaction meetings to ensure that knowledge is shared amongst different service areas in order to provide a more 71

coordinated and effective service delivery approach for Gypsy and Traveller communities. [Unitary LA in the South West] Other strategies The Simple Solutions recommendation also states: ...and embed it [the holistic vision for work with Gypsies and Travellers] in their Community and Homelessness Strategies, Local Development Framework and their planning and reporting obligations under the Race Equality Duty. Progress in the context of the Local Development Framework was reported in Chapter 4. Here we cover the extent to which Gypsy and Traveller matters are referred to in other mainstream strategies and policies. Table 6.1 summarises answers to questions about the inclusion of policies or actions relating to Gypsies and Travellers and their accommodation needs in Housing, Homelessness and Community Strategies, and in equalities work. As can be seen, the majority of LAs in England and Wales have a policy or action in their Housing Strategy. This is a higher proportion than found in the Commissions first progress review (62 per cent compared to 49 per cent), which suggests that some of the Housing Strategies that were said to be in preparation at the time of the earlier survey are now complete. Inclusion of accommodation issues in the plans and reports required under the Race Equality Duty is next most common, then the Equality Framework for Local Government and the Homelessness Strategy, and finally the Community Strategy. Figures are not significantly different between England and Wales, and the same order is apparent.

72

Table 6.1: Summary of inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues in mainstream strategies England Wales No. % No. % D3. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Housing Strategy aimed at providing or facilitating the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Yes 162 62 12 75 In preparation 57 22 2 13 No 35 13 2 13 No answer 7 3 D6. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Homelessness Strategy aimed at providing or facilitating the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Yes 87 33 3 19 In preparation 29 11 2 13 No 132 51 10 63 No answer 13 5 1 6 D7. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Community Strategy relating to Gypsies and Travellers which might assist their accommodation needs and/or social integration? Yes 58 22 2 13 In preparation 19 7 1 6 No 174 67 10 63 No answer 10 4 3 19 D9. Are accommodation issues for Gypsies and Travellers specifically included in your authoritys plans or reports required under the Race Equality Duty? Yes 110 42 9 56 In preparation 32 12 1 6 No 102 39 5 31 No answer 17 7 1 6 D10. Have Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues been specifically included in your authoritys approach to the Equality Framework for Local Government?

73

Yes In preparation No No answer

91 50 101 19

42 12 39 7

3 6 6 1

19 38 38 6

Base: All LAs: 261 in England; 16 in Wales

Only a minority of LAs had consulted Gypsies and Travellers in the process of preparing strategies (Table 6.2). In this instance, English LAs seem less likely than Welsh LAs to have consulted on their Housing Strategies and more likely to have consulted on Homelessness and Community Strategies. Some respondents noted that Gypsies and Travellers had been involved in the same way as other members of the community, but that no special arrangements had been made. Some taking this approach may have ticked the yes box and some may have not. Table 6.2: Were Gypsies and Travellers consulted in the process of preparing strategies? Percentage saying yes Strategy: England Wales Housing Strategy 34 46 Homelessness 20 10 Strategy Community Strategy 22 9
Base: All LAs giving an answer

In order to check on the nature of inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues in these various strategies, we carried out an independent internet search of strategies in 50 LAs selected at random across England and Wales. This proved to be not altogether successful. Not all strategies could be accessed from the councils websites, and some were apparently out of date. In a few instances, we were unable to find references to Gypsies and Travellers in strategies said by LA survey respondents to include measures. However, the independent survey supports the survey in the following ways: Proportions of strategies examined which included reference to Gypsy and Traveller issues were very similar to the survey see Table 6.1. Specific inclusion is clearly most common in Housing Strategies and, to a lesser extent, Homelessness Strategies. It is less common in Community Strategies or equality statements. Most strategy references are fairly general statements of intent, especially in Community Strategies. In Housing and Homelessness Strategies there are

74

several references to understanding more about the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community. Because of the age of several of the strategies scanned, there are references to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) to be undertaken or to be considered for policy implications (now completed); other more specific references are to housingrelated support services to be provided to Gypsies and Travellers. Examples of more specific actions are noted in the box at the end of this section. The overall conclusions from this section are that, at present, Gypsy and Traveller issues are still not fully embedded in local strategies. Greatest progress has been made in respect of Housing Strategies, and there are indications here that the likelihood of inclusion is increasing over time. It is perhaps worth saying that the survey provides no information on whether day-to-day services to Gypsies and Travellers differ in LAs with and without specific mentions of Gypsy and Traveller issues in their strategies. Examples of actions in Housing, Homelessness and Community Strategies (based on examination of strategies) Rushcliffe Housing Strategy 2009-16 Strategic Action 3.12: We will work with Gypsies and Travellers and the wider community to identify suitable sites for additional pitches. We will aim to secure external funding to develop an agreed site (or sites) for permanent use. Southwark Housing Strategy 2009-16 To improve housing management we will: Refurbish existing Travellers and Gypsy sites; of the four sites, two have been refurbished in recent years, one refurbishment is planned to start in 2009/10. We will seek funding to refurbish the remaining site. To increase the supply of housing we will: Continue to protect our existing Travellers and Gypsy sites. We will provide new sites in the future to meet the housing needs of Travellers and Gypsies. The councils housing investment programme: Maintain other types of accommodation such as temporary accommodation hostels, sheltered housing and Travellers sites. Housing Strategy for Eastleigh 2006-11

75

Equality and Housing: The Council recognises the emerging agenda regarding provision for Gypsies and Travellers and is currently working with neighbouring authorities on assessing local needs. 4: Ensure Housing Services are provided in a fair and equitable way: Access to housing by minority and vulnerable groups such as Gypsies and Travellers and BME groups will also be reviewed as part of the new homelessness and housing advice strategy. Bath and North East Somerset Draft Housing and Wellbeing Strategy 2010-15 5: Happy and Healthy Lives: Needs assessments for Gypsies and Travellers and for Rough Sleepers have told us that there are urgent accommodation needs. We will be participating in partnership work and community engagement to build better understanding of the issues and preferences so that we can help to meet these accommodation and support needs and integrate disparate communities. To reduce inequalities by meeting housing needs: Working with a range of partnerships we will develop the recommendations of the Gypsies and Travellers Accommodation Assessment and enable the provision of recommended pitches and infrastructure when their locations have been identified. The Isle of Anglesey Local Housing Strategy 2007 Strategic Housing Objectives Chosen. Gypsies and Travellers 1. Continue involvement in Regional Forum on unauthorised encampments convened by North Wales Police. 2. Liaise with individual encampments to identify ways of resolving on site problems and to identify any cross-boundary issues. Peak Sub Region (Derbyshire Dales & High Peak) Homelessness Strategy 2009-14 Action Plan: Work with Derbyshire Traveller Issues Working Group to identify suitable locations for sites. Luton Borough Council: Homelessness Strategy 2008-13 Where a Gypsy or Traveller is faced with homelessness which cannot be prevented, the Council will need to make a provision for the household. Within this strategy, we intend to: Explore the possibilities of a pitch for use as emergency accommodation or enter into an agreement with a landholder or site

76

for the provision of dedicated temporary accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers. Offer options interviews to this section of the community to explore how the needs of the Gypsy and Traveller household can best be met. Liaise more closely with the Traveller Liaison Officer, Equality and Diversity Education Officer and Specialist Health Visitor for Gypsies and Travellers in order to introduce more preventative actions and avoid homelessness. Explore the use of floating support for this client group in order to maintain stability for the household and children of Gypsies and Travellers. Work with the Corporate Gypsy and Traveller Working Group with a view to conducting a feasibility study on the Gypsy and Traveller community purchasing and managing their own site. Agree a protocol with Landlord Services to plan for evictions within the Gypsy and Traveller community in order to alert statutory and non-statutory agencies and produce a plan for each eviction. Agree a lettings policy for Traveller and Gypsy plots that is common across the region and explore inter borough nominations. Discuss with RSL partners the possibility of a RSL Gypsy and Traveller site. Havant Homelessness Strategy 2008-13 6.3.9 Sites for Gypsies and Travellers In 2007 a Hampshire-wide Gypsy and Traveller Housing Needs Assessment was completed and this has been augmented by the county-wide Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment 2008. The Gypsy and Traveller Assessment reported that there was considerable under-provision of permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and no transit sites in Hampshire. It is likely that the council will be required to permit around four permanent pitches on a site in the borough and to help provide a transit site to be shared with other South Hampshire authorities. The Homelessness Strategy agrees with these general principles and will support the provision of both permanent pitches and a transit site. Wrexham Community Strategy 2009-20 To improve the quality of life for all in Wrexham County Borough

77

Providing dedicated services to work with groups such as asylum seekers and the Traveller community to ensure they are able to obtain the care they require, taking into account any particular cultural, language and other considerations.

Review of policies on Gypsies and Travellers Question D1 asked has your authority reviewed policies on accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers as recommended by the Equality and Human Rights Commission?. Table 6.3 shows that a minority of LAs have completed reviews although two-thirds in England and around seven-eighths in Wales will have a review when work in progress is completed (mostly in 2010 and almost entirely by 2011). More than half (58 per cent) of high-priority LAs had already reviewed their policies in or before 2009. Table 6.3: Has your authority reviewed policies on accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Percentage of LAs England Wales Yes reviewed before 18 6 2009 Yes reviewed in 2009 18 38 In preparation 31 44 No 29 13 No answer 4 Base: All LAs: England 261; Wales 16

LAs which had not carried out a review were asked whether there was any particular reason why not. Most, but not all, gave a reply. A number of LAs said that there were no particular reasons for not carrying out a review. Some said that they were unaware of the Simple Solutions report and therefore did not know that they should carry out a review. Three main reasons were given for not having reviewed policies on accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers and several mentioned by fewer LAs: The most frequently mentioned reason was that such a review would be part of some other strategy review or planning process for example, the Local Development Framework or Housing Strategy.

78

Next in importance was perceived lack of need for such a review. Some commented that there were very few Gypsies and Travellers known to be living locally and few unauthorised encampments. In this context, there had been no overall policy and no perceived need for a review. Some thought that there was no need for a review because their policy framework (formal or informal) was already working adequately.

A smaller number of LAs recognised the desirability of a review, but argued that they had been concentrating on other aspects of their approach to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues, for example, identifying land for sites or reviewing site management arrangements.

Other reasons given included local government re-organisation, waiting for the outcome of Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) reviews which would determine how many pitches are to be provided, and lack of staff resources to undertake a review.

One answer worth quoting suggests that a policy review may not always be the best way of approaching the issue: The Council has been keen to approach this subject in a sensitive manner and introduce awareness of Gypsy and Traveller issues to elected members through training and also making appropriate parties aware of planning/Regional Spatial Strategy and wider obligations towards this section of our community. It can be an emotive subject and so our approach has been reflective of that. To undertake wholesale review of policies would not have been helpful and may have resulted in adverse publicity and misinformation. We are being proactive in providing information to our elected members and staff and will, as we shape our planning documents further, make appropriate adjustments to policies and strategies. This may also contribute to any future holistic strategic visioning. [District council in the North West] The majority of LAs which had carried out a review of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation policy said that Gypsies and Travellers had been consulted in the process (73 per cent of LAs in England and 88 per cent in Wales). This is significantly higher than for the other strategies reported in Table 6.2, and suggests that LAs recognise the importance of involving Gypsies and Travellers in specialist, if not in more generic, strategy-making. Training for elected members and officers 79

D11 asked whether authorities had carried out or facilitated specific training activities on issues related to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation and/or Gypsy and Traveller equality issues during 2009. Table 6.4 summarises answers and shows how many activities (with a maximum of three) LAs had undertaken. Table 6.4: Specific training activities during 2009 Percentage saying yes Group: England Wales Elected members 26 19 Senior officers 28 38 Frontline staff 30 44 Percentage of LAs carrying out each number of activities None 55 44 One 17 19 Two 11 13 Three 15 19 No answer 2 6
Base: All LAs: England 261; Wales 16

Authorities in Wales seem to have been rather more active than their English counterparts in this respect; this may reflect the slightly later date of attention to the issue in Wales. In England, the likelihood of having carried out any specific training is strongly related to priority category. Over three-quarters of high-priority LAs (76 per cent) had undertaken or facilitated specific training during 2009 compared with 42 per cent of medium-priority and 30 per cent of low-priority LAs. While not specifically asked about the nature of the training provided, comments elsewhere on the questionnaire indicate a mix of in-house and other providers with a few specific references to IDeA (Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government, now Local Government Improvement and Development). Some was provided jointly with other authorities in a county or sub-region. Most training seems to have been provided in-house. Authorities saying that they had not carried out any form of training on issues related to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation and/or equality issues during 2009 were asked whether there were any particular reasons for this. Five main reasons were given:

80

The most frequently mentioned reason was that training on such issues had either been undertaken in 2008 or shortly before, or was planned to take place in 2010.

Next in frequency of mention was that, although there had been no specific training on Gypsy and Traveller issues, the authoritys generic equalities training had covered the relevant issues in a non-specific way.

The third most commonly mentioned reason was perceived lack of need for such training because there are so few Gypsies and Travellers in the area and/or a lack of perceived problems (this links to the observed relationship with the LA priority category in England noted above). Other training needs were felt to have greater priority for scarce resources and time.

A number of LAs noted that, although they had not carried out or facilitated specific training activities, officers or elected members had accessed training activities organised by other agencies during the year.

Finally, a number of LAs noted that it had not been appropriate to carry out training during 2009, but that they would do so at the appropriate stage in their policy development process, for example when locations for sites were being identified.

Overall, it appears that the majority of LAs across England and Wales either have carried out or intend to carry out training on Gypsy and Traveller matters. Planning advice on finding land Simple Solutions recommends that LAs advise Gypsies and Travellers on the most suitable land for residential purposes and provide help with the application process. An open question asked authorities to describe how they did this. Standard answers normally referred to two approaches: some sort of duty planning officer service and/or pre-application service which is available to all planning applicants for advice on the application process, and a Local Plan or Core Strategy and/or a Strategic Housing Land Availability assessment report for identifying potential land suitable for site development.

81

Generic advisers might signpost Gypsy and Traveller applicants to more specialist advice available through planning consultants, Planning Aid, Citizens Advice or local support groups or forums. A minority of LAs referred to some element of service more specifically geared to Gypsies and Travellers: On the identification of land issue, several referred to calls for sites or other arrangements being undertaken as part of the DPD process to identify land suitable for Gypsy and Traveller sites. Gypsy and Traveller communities are being encouraged to participate in this process. Just over 50 LAs mentioned the availability of a person or organisation specifically able to advise Gypsies and Travellers. This included floating support services, Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officers (often at county rather than local level) and local support groups or forums. Some arrangements were at a sub-regional level. Some of the more proactive services are shown below. Examples of proactive arrangements for providing planning advice to Gypsies and Travellers (based on survey answers) LAs in [county] have produced leaflets [and a video] explaining the development plan and development management processes. XCC and the LAs have appointed a Gypsy Liaison Officer and all local authorities have nominated an officer in their Council which is included in the leaflets. [District council in Yorkshire & Humber] The Council has a Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer. A duty officer system is operated for development control, with a dedicated phone number. In many cases applications made by Travellers require the assistance of our officers. This is provided both on site and in our offices. We have produced a CD with the help of the Ormiston Trust (an organisation that provides to Travellers and other sectors of the population). This is narrated by Travellers and provides advice on the planning process and how to go about identifying a potential site. A copy of this CD was made available to most of our Travellers. In respect of the GT DPD, we employed Consultants (they employed both English and Irish Travellers to carry out these visits) who visited all our known Traveller sites to explain the process and to identify

82

potential sites. In addition we held three drop-in events purely for Travellers to the same end. [District council in East of England] We provide free pre-application advice. We work closely with the local Citizens Advice Bureau (their three-year project giving advice to Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in Oxon, Bucks, Berks and Milton Keynes is based in Witney). We liaise with the owners of some of the main private sites in the district, both in terms of planning related issues and housing issues. [District council in the South East] Publish the Travellers Times Planning Guide for Gypsies and Travellers How do l find a site on our website, make available in our Community Contact Centres and at our Planning Reception at the Civic Centre. Have a Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer who works between Planning and Housing Services who will liaise with Gypsy and Traveller families, make pre-application site visits with Planning Officers to discuss applications, give advice etc. [District council in the West Midlands] We have advertised on our website for landowners for land and Gypsies and Travellers to come forward with information about where they want to live. We have provided information about planning aid. We have held a launch of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Month and attempted to build on information/contacts made there. We aim to place an advert in the Travellers Times for land/Gypsy and Traveller interest. [District council in East of England] A Call for Sites exercise was undertaken during May 2009 and officers are always at hand to discuss potential sites. (Gypsy and Traveller Site Allocation Development Plan Document Issues and Options was issued in 2009). Currently looking to recruit community development worker to work specifically with the Gypsy and Traveller community. [Unitary LA in the South West] The Social Inclusion Unit has direct contact with Gypsies and Travellers and directly supports those wishing to purchase land to develop as private sites. We are currently supporting one family in such a process. Our pre-planning application process assists all applicants with assessing the suitability of their land against the intended use.

83

[Unitary LA in the South West]

Policies on racist representations Planning applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites often produce significant objections from members of the public, and objections can sometimes be racist in their wording. It is in this context that Simple Solutions recommended that LAs should have an internal policy for dealing with such representations in the planning approval process. The survey found that 55 per cent of English LAs and 31 per cent of Welsh LAs said that they had such an internal policy. A further four per cent of English LAs had a policy in preparation, expected to be ready during 2010. The survey did not ask about the specifics of such policies. Not having a specific policy does not necessarily mean that LAs are unaware of the issue or do not have procedures for dealing with it if it arises. A minority of those without an internal policy said that the issue had not arisen, or that any cases arising were dealt with on an ad hoc basis. Most knew what approach would be adopted if a racist representation were to be received. The most frequently mentioned actions were: The matter is already adequately covered by corporate policies on discrimination, equalities or hate crime. Representations are only considered insofar as they deal with material planning considerations. Racist comments would not be considered or published and would be returned to the sender explaining why they could not be considered. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) guidance on racist representations is followed. Any racist representations received are automatically referred to a senior planning, legal or equalities officer for action. A few LAs referred specifically to training for staff in recognition and dealing with potentially racist representations. Good communications Simple Solutions recommends good communications with the local community, including Gypsies and Travellers, as a key to effective handling of Gypsy and Traveller issues. It suggested that this could include creating a forum in which representatives of all groups can discuss site provision with 84

each other and with the local authority. Question D13 of the survey asked whether the authority had established a Gypsy and Traveller Interagency Forum or made specific arrangements to create good communication with the local community, including Gypsies and Travellers themselves, to facilitate discussion of site provision. Table 6.5 summarises answers. Table 6.5: Gypsy and Traveller Inter-agency Forum or other specific arrangements to create good communications Percentage saying yes England Wales Established a Forum 29 38 Other arrangement 41 31 Percentage of LAs carrying out each number of activities None 31 31 One 66 56 Two 2 6 No answer 2 6
Base: All LAs: England 261; Wales 16

As can be seen, around two-thirds of LAs in both England and Wales said that they had either established a forum or made other arrangements to create good communications to facilitate discussion of site provision. In England, 86 per cent of high-priority LAs had done so. Interpretation of what constitutes a forum was left to the respondents, and it may be that definitions differ in scope, function, membership, sophistication and extent of engagement of Gypsy and Traveller communities. Some of the other arrangements were described by respondents. Many LAs said that they participate in wider county or sub-regional forums or inter-agency working groups. Some referred to Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officers tasked with improving communications. Other approaches included encouraging and facilitating resident groups on local social sites which might in time involve others from the wider community, and face-to-face contacts with known Gypsy and Traveller families or local representative organisations. The examples below illustrate some of these. Examples of arrangements other than forums to create good communication with the local community (based on survey answers) We facilitated the residents of X Gypsy Site to create their own residents group. We work with Community Development to coordinate events

85

around the ward boundary; this encourages the Gypsy and Traveller community to meet with the wider local population. This will help bring Gypsy and Traveller issues to the fore in the local community creating a deeper understanding of Gypsy and Traveller issues. [Unitary LA in the North East] X Gypsy and Traveller Exchange facilitated by community development worker funded by [council]. Unitary LA in Yorkshire & Humber] A member of the Gypsy community has been appointed as Gypsy and Traveller Coordinator to deal with such issues. [Metropolitan district in Yorkshire & Humber] We have held a number of public consultation meetings in the parish where the private site we are looking to extend is located. The public, elected members and Gypsies and Travellers have all participated. In addition we have a good relationship with the site owners who are Travellers themselves. [District council in the East Midlands] Consultation on LDF documents. Personal visits to Gypsy families. Dialogue with agents acting on behalf of Gypsy families. Parish liaison.

[District council in West Midlands] Through the consultation on the Gypsy and Traveller DPD, a programme of communication and events was undertaken, including leaflets, news articles, and an audio CD. The Council also held a number of drop-in workshops where they could provide information and assistance. A consultant who had worked on similar plans was employed to specifically visit Gypsy and Traveller pitches to provide information on the consultation and to provide assistance in making representations. X Traveller Liaison Group has also been established to coordinate the work of various agencies working with Gypsies and Travellers. A Strategic Travellers Co-ordinating Group has been established within [county] and X is an active member. [District council in East of England]

86

XDC employed a consultancy company (Myriad) to work with the Gypsy and Travelling residents in X District, as part of the Gypsy and Traveller Development Plan Document. Myriad used a number of methods to communicate with individuals from the Gypsy and Traveller communities and inform them more about the Gypsy and Traveller DPD and the planning process. These included: 1. A DVD resource which was produced for distribution to members of the Gypsy and Travelling communities. This contained details of the Gypsy and Traveller development plan, the call for site exercise and basic information about the planning system. This mode of engagement had been previously used successfully by the consultants, where literacy, confidentiality and visibility had been acknowledged as significant variants in participation rates. 2. Traveller sites were visited across the district to ensure direct contact with as many Travellers as possible. Face-to-face contact was considered the most effective means to ensure Travellers were conversant with the planning consultation. Face-to-face contact was also the most effective mode of disseminating the DVD resource and all relevant paperwork. A formal questionnaire was designed to collate local demographic data regarding tenure arrangements, preferred options, your pitch and communicating with the district council. Individuals from Gypsy and Traveller communities were asked to become directly involved in this aspect of the consultation. [District council in East of England] X Housing Partnership, the RSL that own the site in the borough, undertake community development work to engage with Travellers on the site and work with other residents to ensure the Traveller site is part of the wider community. They also held a focus group at the Travellers site in 2008 as part of community development work to identify issues to be taken forward in their action plan for the area. Consultation was also held with regard to the site redevelopment. [London Borough] Open day with the Gypsy and Traveller community to seek comments on site location, size, management etc. Visit to New Age Traveller Community. [District council in the South West]

87

Members of the Councils Customer Focus and Equalities Group (planning officer, equalities officer and members of the Play Team/Arts Outreach team) attend the local meetings of the SWANomads (South West Alliance of Nomads) for a two-way exchange of views and information. I have also established contacts with the Romani Gypsy Advisory Group to discuss issues if necessary. [District council in the South West] Other matters Question A12 of the survey asked which department within the authority has lead responsibility for developing site provision for Gypsies and Travellers. Table 6.6 shows that planning departments are slightly more likely than housing departments to take the lead in England, while in almost a fifth of LAs, the two departments share responsibilities (or the functions are located in the same department). In Wales, housing is the more dominant department. In both countries, in a minority of LAs the lead is corporate or in another department (for example, strategy, regeneration, environment). Equalities was offered as a specific lead department, but was not ticked at all in either England or Wales. A very few LAs noted that no department took the lead for example: This does not currently sit with any one service area, but probably falls between Housing, Planning Policy, Property and Traveller Site Management. It is anticipated that as a result of developing the new Gypsy and Traveller we will narrow this issue down. [Unitary LA in the South West] One English district council referred to its county council which owned a social site in its area; this suggests a lack of ownership at local level.

88

Table 6.6: Lead department within the authority with responsibility for developing site provision Percentage of LAs England Wales Housing 26 56 Planning 38 13 Housing & planning 18 13 Corporate 8 6 Equalities Other 10 13 No answer 1 Base: All LAs: England 261; Wales 16

Not all Gypsies and Travellers live or indeed want to live on Gypsy and Traveller sites. Question D4 in the survey asked whether there were any specific measures to help Gypsies and Travellers who want to access and/or retain bricks and mortar accommodation in their area. Over two-thirds of English LAs (69 per cent) said that there were. This was much higher than the equivalent figure in Wales 44 per cent. Table 6.7 shows the percentage of LAs saying that they provided specific services (based on a series of prompts), and notes how many services were provided (maximum eight).

Table 6.7: Measures to help Gypsies and Travellers who want to access and/or retain bricks and mortar accommodation

89

Percentage saying yes England Wales Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer in post Housing-related support services provided to Gypsies and Travellers Gypsies and Travellers prioritised on housing waiting lists Housing allocation policies sensitive to Gypsy and Traveller needs Gypsies and Travellers are identified on ethnic monitoring forms Research carried out on accommodation and support needs (in addition to a GTAA) Other 38 49 2 21 31 19 6 25

43

25

23 11

19 -

Percentage of LAs carrying out each number of activities None 28 56 One 16 13 Two 17 6 Three 18 13 Four 12 6 Five 5 Six 2 6 No answer 2 Base: All LAs: England 261; Wales 16

Almost half of English LAs have some form of housing-related support for Gypsies and Travellers (this rises to 76 per cent of high-priority LAs). The English figures suggest that the inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller categories on ethnic monitoring forms is becoming more common. Gypsies and Travellers are very rarely prioritised on housing waiting lists. A fifth to a quarter of LAs (still a relatively low proportion) say that their allocation policies are sensitive to the needs of Gypsies and Travellers. Other answers were mainly services to assist Gypsies and Travellers (and other vulnerable groups or people with possible literacy problems) to negotiate choice-based lettings schemes, and proactive approaches taken towards advising Gypsies and Travellers on unauthorised encampments about homelessness services and supporting them through the process if they want to apply as homeless. A further point of interest in the table is the finding that over a third of English

90

LAs are providing three or more of these measures (41 per cent of highpriority LAs). Both housing-related support for Gypsies and Travellers and their identification in ethnic monitoring forms were less common in Wales than in England. Similar proportions of LAs provide other measures in Wales as in England. Overall, fewer Welsh than English LAs said that they provided any measure, and multiple measures were common.

91

7.

Perceptions of barriers

The final section of the survey asked respondents, on a confidential basis, for their views on the various barriers to Gypsy and Traveller site provision, and what proactive measures are being taken by their local authority (LA) to tackle the barriers and increase site provision. Views on barriers Question E1 asked LAs to indicate how important eight barriers identified in the first Equality and Human Rights Commission progress review are in their authority. Table 7.1 summarises answers for LAs in England and Wales. Percentages are calculated on the base of LAs providing an answer. In England, between 12 and 15 per cent of LAs failed to answer, depending on the barrier. In Wales, non-response was between two and four LAs. Table 7.1: Summary of perceived importance of barriers to site provision: England and Wales Barrier Base Very Quite Not important important important (%) (%) (%) England Lack of awareness of the issue among policy makers Public/elected member opposition Negative media issues Difficulty in identifying appropriate land The planning framework Funding and finance Gypsy and Traveller site provision not a local priority Leadership issues

227 228 228

15 61 48

34 28 36

51 11 16

231 227 227

73 22 52

22 50 34

5 28 14

224 223

30 21

43 41

26 38

Table 7.1 continued: Summary of perceived importance of barriers to

site provision: England and Wales Barrier Base

Very important (%)

Quite important (%)

Not important (%)

Wales Lack of awareness of the issue among policymakers Public/elected member opposition Negative media issues Difficulty in identifying appropriate land The planning framework Funding and finance Gypsy and Traveller site provision not a local priority Leadership issues

14 14

14 71

36 21

50 7

14

57

14

29

14 13 13

50 76

36 54 15

14 46 8

13 12

31 25

31 8

39 67

In England, the perceived barrier thought most important is by quite a margin difficulty in identifying appropriate land. Next in importance are public/elected member opposition and funding and finance. Other barriers are thought less important. In particular, lack of awareness of the issue among policymakers and leadership issues were less likely to be thought very important by respondents. In Wales, funding and finance, and public/elected member opposition are thought far more important than the other issues. Some differences between perceptions in England and Wales are interesting: Difficulty in finding land is generally thought less important in Wales than in England. This might be because English LAs are rather further advanced in the process of identifying locations for sites in Local Development Plans. It might equally reflect different pressures on land from competing uses and/or land values.

93

Funding and finance is thought more important in Wales than in England. This may reflect a more widespread perception that additional sites will be provided through the social sector in Wales supported by the current lesser extent of private provision and relatively lower levels of planning applications for private sites noted in Chapter 4.

The planning framework itself was thought very important by over a fifth of respondents in England and none in Wales. The major difference between the two frameworks is the lack of the regional tier in Wales. As has already been noted, several respondents in England referred to the RSS review process as introducing uncertainties into the number of additional pitches to be provided.

These barriers aside, the level of agreement between perceptions in England and Wales is itself very interesting. These are to do mainly with public opposition, media treatment of the issue and local awareness and leadership. When asked to expand on their views a large number of LAs reported that site provision presents multiple, often simultaneous, barriers and challenges which makes selecting and ranking specific barriers difficult. Indeed, when provided with the opportunity to elaborate on their assessments of relative importance, their response highlights the inter-relationship between the barriers they face. For instance: Very difficult to deliver with very limited resources, uncertainty around future political priorities and ensuring it dovetails into the LDF process. Similarly, although difficulty in identifying appropriate land was seen as the most significant barrier in England, the definition of appropriate appeared to sometimes be more akin to what is palatable to elected members and the public rather than based on pure land constraint: When a potential site is being considered, the public and members have tended to raise concerns regarding the suitability of location. Another respondent commented: There is political resistance due to general local opposition towards this ethnic minority. This also limits the identification of suitable sites.

94

However, the categorisations contained within question E1 did resonate with a large number of responding local authorities. Where appropriate, each of these categories is examined in more detail below. Difficulty in identifying appropriate land Responding LAs in England who cited difficulties in identifying appropriate land generally reported four separate reasons why this was the case: a lack of land due to urban density, a lack of land due to Green Belt (or other protective designation), a lack of publicly available land and/or the lack of value for money in releasing/purchasing land for Gypsy and Traveller site development. In terms of a lack of publicly available land, one respondent reported how having a lack of authority-controlled land was a real barrier to moving forward: Circular 01/06 seems to assume that vacant public land will be readily available to make provision for additional pitches (paragraph 35 in particular), but we have found this not to be the case in this district which makes identification of potentially suitable sites much more difficult. Other respondents described how their rural location presented them with difficulties: Identifying appropriate land is the biggest issue for us particularly in respect of location near to services in a highly rural area. A sequential approach will be taken in identifying sites, however it will probably be Green Belt land. There is then the question over sustainable locations particularly in rural districts. Indeed, a number of responding LAs commented that being heavily constrained through protective designations was a challenge to providing accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers. On the other hand, for responding LAs in urban areas a lack of suitable available sites was compounded by the pressure to ensure the value of land was maximised, this was particularly the case for one responding London Borough:

95

Like many London Boroughs, with extensive environmental constraints, land is at a premium with limited supply and high existing use values, creating unique development pressures and the constraint of viability. Realistically sites within Council ownership offer an opportunity to make provision for Gypsies and Travellers, but there is still pressure to maximise assets and deliver the best value for money, particularly in the current economic climate. Operating within both rural and urban constraints one respondent reported challenges from their position: There is difficulty in identify appropriate land because of site constraints and availability of sites in the area. Fifty per cent of the local authority is Green Belt and the remainder is characterised by the development pattern of an outer London Borough. There is an underlying implication, perhaps, in these comments that Gypsy and Traveller sites do not fare well in competition for the undesignated land in an area. Public/elected member opposition For many responding LAs, opposition from the general public or elected members cannot be seen as distinct from the challenge of finding suitable locations for Gypsy and Traveller sites. Indeed for one respondent a lack of support and opposition from members has led to applications for new sites being refused: Providing site provision has proved very difficult without the member support and has often led to applications being refused. Other local authorities acknowledged that their efforts to move forward were complicated by the experience of a circle of opposition between the elected members, the general public and the media: Members and local residents are still resistant to any proposals regarding site provision and national negative press coverage in the past two years has not helped. In spite of funding being made available for successful bids, greatly reducing the set-up burden on LAs, nimbyism still plays a big part in preventing progress in this area. CLG advocate the benefits of an elected member Gypsy and Traveller Champion but

96

politicians dont seem particularly keen to champion this cause even more so in the lead-up to any elections! Furthermore, where there was an option open to place the responsibility somewhere else, that opportunity was sometimes being taken: With a mix of three large towns and a number of surrounding rural villages there is a constant battle between the towns and various villages they are constantly passing the buck between one another and unwilling to take individual responsibility. Indeed one authority used this survey as a call for added support when tackling opposition: We would welcome assistance in taking forward proposals for new sites particularly with regard to managing the media and negative publicity. There is concern among staff about overcoming opposition politically and from the general public. A significant number of responding officers defended the predicament of their elected members who find it difficult to support site development in their areas. For the following two LAs this revolved around the perceived lack of fairness in the distribution of pitch requirements: There are concerns over the robustness of the GTAA and draft RSS policy regarding Gypsies and Travellers. These concerns may be resolved to some extent by the forthcoming Regional Policy Statement on Gypsies and Travellers which may propose a more equitable redistribution of the requirements for new Gypsy and Traveller sites. However, this may not necessarily appease local communities and local community leaders who find it difficult to support new Gypsy and Traveller site provision within their area, whatever the requirement may be, and to give the issue a priority when addressing community needs. The Council already has a very high level of provision (67 Gypsy and Traveller pitches and 46 for Showmen). Elected members justifiably feel that other authorities should also take the issue seriously, particularly those that have very little, or no, provision.

97

There were no references to particular political parties either being supportive or antagonistic at local level. The issue of site provision appears to transcend party politics. Funding and finance Issues around financing new site development were raised by a number of responding local authorities. In a number of instances this related to the lack of funds from the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant: Yorkshire & Humber have only been allocated 2 million a year from the national grant and this has therefore affected our ability to develop new sites. Due to the limitation in funding we have had to prioritise new provision up until and beyond 2011 based on the need across the sub region. In other instances, respondents spoke of failings in how the Grant was currently administered: The lack of information on when grant bidding information will be available causes a lot of uncertainty regarding planning the delivery of sites. If funding is to be made available, dates and times should be released at least a year in advance in order for authorities to plan ahead and be in a position to submit bids that are robust. The finance issue has not been given sufficient thought. There is a requirement to allocate G&T sites. What about the finance to set these up and run them? This has not really been addressed. We are already aware of severe cuts to council budgets from 2011 and are looking at working with two other councils to save money by cutting on duplicated posts. In Wales the funding of Gypsy and Traveller sites was the main issue expanded upon by responding local authorities. One Welsh authority talked about the amount of funding available being insufficient: Funding is a particular issue in the current economic climate. Whilst budgets for existing services are being cut it is very hard to find the funds to establish new ones, such as site provision for Gypsy Travellers. Whilst funding is available from the Welsh Assembly it is insufficient to

98

cover the costs of developing a Gypsy Traveller site to the standards that the Welsh Assembly requires. Another Welsh authority talked in detail about the barrier created by the administration of the Grant: The Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant scheme that operates in Wales is very inflexible. Applications can only be submitted at one point in the year, meaning that if you miss the deadline you have to wait another year before applying. There is a lot of paperwork that has to be completed in order to apply for a Grant, which can also be off-putting as there is a risk a lot of time could be spent on an application that may not be approved. The level of information required also means that local authorities have to be very far along in the process of planning to make provision at a particular site, when the reality is provision may not be made in that location unless Grant is approved. The planning framework A small number of LAs expanded on their view that the planning system, as currently organised, posed particular barriers to resolving Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs. A number of such comments raised particular issues relating to the experiences of responding local authorities who are subject to a strategic redistribution of pitch requirements in an RSS review: Until the South East Plan has confirmed the number of pitches, we feel we are unable to progress this matter any further as there is a considerable difference between the Need Assessment and the South East Plan figures. Other respondents simply thought the planning process hindered the successful provision of new sites and pitches for Gypsies and Travellers: The main thing that is holding the Gypsy and Traveller pitch provision back is the LDF process. Although every attempt is being made to help applicants with bringing forward private sites and housing associations bringing forward social sites, the allocation of any new sites has to be done in the LDF process, which has previously had setbacks.

99

The complexity of the planning system is problematic on this issue. This makes it difficult to incorporate in corporate decision-making. Officers from a range of backgrounds find it hard to understand the process. For one respondent recent local authority reorganisation had also hindered dealing with pitch needs: Local government reorganisation has also delayed matters hugely relevant planning documents had to go back to square one. Gypsy and Traveller site provision not a local priority Over two-thirds of responding local authorities thought that a very or quite important barrier to meeting pitch needs was that Gypsy and Traveller accommodation was not a local priority. However, very few respondents expanded upon why this was the case. Two respondents, where there is very little experience of Gypsies and Travellers living within their boroughs, thought that the relatively small evidence of need placed Gypsies and Travellers at a lower priority: Gypsy and Traveller provision is not a local priority as there are very few recorded UEs [unauthorised encampments] and UDs [unauthorised developments] and until the GTAA was carried out in 2007 we were not aware of an existing need for accommodation in the district. Consequently there is political and local reluctance to spend money on facilities that arent needed, especially in a district such as ours with severe deprivation problems. The relatively small Gypsy and Traveller population in [the local area] is resulting in a lower priority categorisation than should ideally be the case, resulting in political inertia when dealing with the realities of forward planning and recognition of the statutory duty of the authority. One respondent described the scarce resources available to their authority. For this respondent, this meant that it was difficult to see the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers as a priority among other competing factors: The Council has [one of the] lowest council tax in the country and is prevented from raising tax significantly to pay for staff to undertake new initiatives. Resources for consultation, research etc into specific issues such as this are therefore very, very limited. There is a large demand for

100

affordable housing in [the local area] (2,500+ households on the waiting list). There are therefore conflicting priorities for provision on land. Leadership issues Although a fifth of authorities in England and a quarter of responding authorities in Wales reported that leadership posed a very important barrier, very few authorities expanded on precisely what this meant for them. To some extent this again reflects the complexity of the issue as leadership could be seen as inextricably linked to negative media issues and opposition from the public and elected members. One respondent was clear however and took the view that a lack of support and leadership from their elected members was a significant barrier in their efforts to move forward to meet needs: Members, members, members. To succeed, any project needs strong and steadfast support from high-up departmental managers and very good political support from members. No responding authority elaborated on why a lack of awareness of the issue was a potential barrier to site provision. Conversely, a number of respondents reported significant levels of knowledge of the issues facing Gypsies and Travellers and reported degrees of political will to resolve the accommodation shortage. However, a small number of local authorities who reported little or no experience of accommodating Gypsies and Travellers, but which now had a pitch allocation via the GTAA/RSS process, saw a lack of direct experience of the issue as a barrier: Our council has not had any pressure for Gypsy site provision. The GTAA showed extremely limited demand for sites and this is borne out by the lack of any planning applications or unlawful site occupation. Given that we have had no identified Gypsy or Traveller need for sites until the recent RSS Partial Review, and the subsequent establishment of an unauthorised site in November 2009, our experience is limited. One authority highlighted the need to partner with more experienced organisations in the delivery and management of this specialised form of accommodation: Following stock transfer we have no in-house capacity to undertake development and management of social sites. To make progress we

101

would need to find an appropriate partner able and willing to develop and manage any social provision. Initial contacts with registered social landlords active as developers in the district suggest that, in the current climate, they are wary of engaging in social provision for Gypsies and Travellers. This seems to be confirmed by analysis of bids in current HCA grant programme, ie limited involvement by RSLs. A lack of available partnerships with RSLs was something another responding authority pointed to as hindering progress: There is a lack of social landlords who are prepared to work in partnership with councils to develop new sites. Responding LAs rarely specifically expanded on the barrier posed by the media. However, where this was an issue, a number of LAs could be seen to have elaborated on this with regards to the opposition posed by the public and elected members. The rare exception was the following respondent: Although negative media issues is listed above, there is no real reference to the opinion of the general public. If the planning process is all about front-loading, then educating the general public would certainly go a long way to reducing the animosity that occurs when any consultation on Gypsy and Traveller sites takes place. There is an almost expected opposition to these sites, which makes their implementation particularly difficult. The phrase last acceptable form of racism springs to mind. This needs to change if the step change in site delivery is to be implemented. Other issues In addition to the opportunity to expand on the categories in question E1, question E3 asked respondents whether there were any other factors they perceived as barriers to additional site progress in their area. A small number of LAs reported that they had not progressed with meeting need as they were currently challenging the assumptions in their respective GTAAs: The council does not accept the findings of the GTAA in respect of the numbers of pitches required on a need as it arises basis. The council considers the need figures generated by the GTAA to be over-inflated

102

and that proposed future provision over the next 20 years has been a crude doubling of current pitch provision within each local authority area. This approach merely reinforces the concentration of Gypsy and Traveller provision within specific parts of the West Midlands region. Other respondents described how the sheer complexity of the task created a climate of inertia: There is a strong political will to meet our RSS targets, but NIMBY attitudes and well-organised opposition to any sites brought forward make this task very challenging, as do delays and uncertainty in obtaining grants for the work. A small number of authorities, each of which were tackling their identified accommodation needs, reported the challenges posed by working in a relatively uncharted area. For instance, one authority lacked expertise in refurbishing sites and providing temporary accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers: Another problem is capacity and carrying out refurbishment at the same time as managing new site provision. In this respect provision of temporary alternative accommodation whilst site refurbishment progresses has proved an immense problem. There is no specific government advice on this but it is badly needed. Finally, several LAs noted challenges in consulting and engaging Gypsy and Traveller communities. For one, lack of a recognised Gypsy and Traveller organisation or a point of contact for the communities was a barrier to moving forward and ensuring that what is provided reflected real need/demand: [name of area] does not have a Gypsy and Traveller Forum so it has been difficult to engage with them and find out where they would like new provision. We make informal contact through the Inter-agency Forum and have held several consultation events and attended events held by partners. The Inter-agency Forum is trying to develop a more formal Gypsy and Traveller Forum, but has had little interest from the Gypsy and Traveller community.

103

For another the barrier was: The willingness of the Gypsy and Traveller community to engage in consultation processes or to identify land which they own. Proactive measures to tackle barriers The precise measures taken by the responding LAs to tackle what they perceived as barriers in making progress on meeting Gypsy and Traveller needs were diverse and varied, and naturally depended on the issues and the context in which these were being pursued. All of the measures that were reported in Wales were also cited, in one form or another, in England. The most popular measures mentioned by responding LAs were: The search for suitable land. Close working with the local Gypsy and Traveller community for some, this meant supporting specific families in need through the planning process and for others it meant providing forums to discuss with Gypsies and Travellers the planning system. The preparation of their Local Development Framework (LDF). The organisation of training and regular briefing sessions for elected members and officers, holding special awareness-raising events, providing positive media stories and producing myth-busting resources. These activities were aimed at overcoming or reducing political (including at parish level) and other opposition for which few other counter-measures were described. Other common measures being undertaken included: Tolerance of encampments and close relationships with local families in order to reduce local tensions and build bridges with the settled communities. The formation of internal working groups and inter-authority working to tackle the various issues. The development of Grant-funded socially rented sites, extending existing sites and developing bids for funding future social rented sites. Involving housing enablers and registered social landlords in the site identification and site development process. Appointment of specialist Gypsy and Traveller Liaison/Engagement officers.

104

Updating of various strategies and policies to include Gypsy and Traveller needs.

For the majority of local authorities their reported proactive work was focused in a rather one-track manner through the preparation of planning documents or the identification of land and development of sites. Only a handful reported measures that could be described as pervasive involving actions on multiple levels at the same time as working to embed Gypsy and Traveller issues into the various mainstream policies and strategies within local authorities. Three wider-ranging approaches are described in the examples below. Examples of elements within an authoritys holistic strategic vision for its work with Gypsies and Travellers were given in Chapter 6 and are also relevant here. Examples of wide-ranging proactive approaches GTAA - carried out to provide a sound evidence base to inform policy. Service provision for Gypsies and Travellers - a key agenda item at corporate management team meeting. Training plan for members - being developed to raise awareness of Gypsy and Traveller issues 2010/11. Core Strategy Policy 9 - specifically relates to the provision for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. (To be adopted March 2010 approx.) Identification of appropriate land work is ongoing. Sub Regional Work We are working with the South Yorkshire authorities to identify priorities for bidding to ensure that there is enough provision across the whole sub region. Particularly as this community is less likely to recognise local authorities and therefore local policies and procedures. Site Working Group Planning and housing are working together to identify suitable land for new provision, we have developed a Councillor Steering Group to assist with this and gain support from members. A Gypsy and Travellers Community Engagement worker has been appointed jointly funded by Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and the council. This officer has enabled us to work more directly with Gypsies and Travellers and dispel some of the myths surrounding

105

the community. For example the officer was involved in an article about Gypsies and Travellers for a council magazine that is distributed to all households in X. Working closely with partner agencies through the Gypsy and Traveller Forum. Positively publicising the needs of Gypsies and Travellers. Keeping members regularly informed of developments both in site identification and national policy changes. Also identifying land not owned by the council and actively involving the county council and partner RSLs in site identification.

106

8.

Concluding comments

This report is based on data collected between January and March 2010. The details of current site provision and plans to develop further sites may have changed since then. Changes in government policy and legislation since this research was undertaken mean that the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) and government targets no longer exist or are likely to be removed, subject to parliamentary approval. Local authorities will now be responsible for meeting local accommodation needs, including through the provision of sites. Changes in spending decisions also mean there is no ring-fenced sites grant as there was previously, but the Homes Bonus Scheme in England will include sites. The main conclusion from the research is that, while progress was being made on the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites, it was not sufficiently rapid to redress the shortage of pitches over the initial three to five-year period, as envisaged by ODPM Circular 01/2006 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites, published in February 2006. In Wales the comparable Circular (WAG Circular 30/2007) was published in December 2007, providing a base date some two years later than in England. Because of this and other differences, conclusions on progress on site provision in England and in Wales are presented separately. This chapter looks first at the progress local authorities are making in the provision of pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in England and Wales. It then examines some of the barriers to moving forward on site provision, and suggests some solutions to these barriers. Many of these remain relevant regardless of local and national frameworks for delivery under a new government. The chapter concludes with comments about monitoring progress in the future. Pitch provision in England In England we estimate that 5,821 additional residential pitches for Gypsies and Travellers are required in the first five-year period after the local needs assessment (which in many areas is 2006-11, but in some is 2007-12 or even later). The number of additional transit pitches required to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle is much less clear but would be in addition to the 5,821 residential pitches. We have estimated net change in pitch numbers for the local authorities which replied to the survey (238 authorities, or 73 per cent of all English local

107

authorities) and provided all relevant information on pitch completions and pitch losses between 2006 and 2011. Relating this information on changing pitch numbers to estimated five-year residential requirements shows that: Across England as a whole, taking into account all pitch changes social and private, temporary and permanent permissions it will take about 16 years to meet five-year requirements at the rate of progress achieved during 2006-09. Excluding pitches provided with only temporary/personal planning permissions, it will take about 27 years to meet five-year requirements. 35 local authorities (15 per cent of those providing all relevant information) are on track to meet their requirements within the first five years at the rate of progress achieved between 2006 and 2009 taking into account all net change. A further 25 (11 per cent) will do so within 10 years. Excluding pitches provided with temporary or personal planning permissions, only 15 authorities (six per cent) are on track to meet requirements within five years and a further 24 (10 per cent) within 10 years. 135 authorities (57 per cent of those providing full information) showed either a zero or a negative change in pitch numbers in 2006-09. Either no pitches had been completed, or pitch losses balanced or outnumbered completions. Excluding pitches provided through temporary or personal planning permissions, 68 per cent of authorities made no net gain in pitch numbers. Progress was rather better than the average in both high-priority areas (requirements of 40 pitches or more) and low-priority areas (requirements up to five pitches). It was least in the medium-priority areas which would take 22 years (all net change) or 38 years (excluding temporary or personal permissions) to meet five-year requirements at the rate of progress achieved in 2006-09. These findings suggest slower progress than the first Equality and Human Rights Commission progress review. This is partly attributable to the different samples in the two studies and to the focus in the later review on net change in pitch numbers rather than simply on pitch completions. However there are indications (from survey answers about pitch completions on private sites) that the annual rate of progress in 2009 was below that achieved between 2006 and 2008.

108

There have been some more encouraging aspects of site provision in England since 2006: Most new sites are being provided privately by Gypsies and Travellers themselves. Most planning applications made and permissions granted are for very small sites (around four pitches). Both tenure and site size probably accord well with community aspirations for family owner-occupied sites, although not all Gypsies and Travellers can afford to provide for themselves. Private site provision is achieved without recourse to public expenditure. While private pitch completions were lower in 2009 than the annual average achieved in 2006-08, the number of planning permissions granted was higher than average. Also during 2009 the proportion of private permissions granted on a permanent basis was higher than earlier, as was the proportion of permissions granted by the planning authority itself rather than on appeal. The proportion of awards of Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant involving new site or pitch provision or the re-use of existing pitches (rather than site refurbishment) increased during the 2008/09 and 2009/10 bidding rounds. Awards in 2006 to 2009 should lead to the creation of some 500 additional pitches on social sites although there are some indications that not all will be developed as planned, and may be affected by the removal of ring-fenced grants. Better monitoring of the value for money is needed in future expenditure on Gypsy and Traveller sites. Local authority plans for social site development would add over 700 pitches to the social supply but may change under the revised planning framework. Many of these planned pitches are additional to pitches in Grant awards already made but probably depend on the continuing availability of Grant or other funding in order to become a reality. Future site provision should, therefore, become more balanced between private and social provision, catering for a wider range of community members including those who cannot afford to develop sites themselves. The removal of grant funding will have an impact. The main conclusion remains that the overall rate of progress on site provision needs to increase more than fivefold to meet the five-year pitch shortfall with pitches provided with permanent planning permissions. The general intention of Circular 01/2006 to meet existing shortfalls by around 2011 will not be met. Even if central government targets are removed, accommodation needs remain and should be met. 109

Pitch provision in Wales Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments (GTAA) are not yet complete across Wales just half of authorities responding to the survey had a completed GTAA. It is therefore not yet possible to identify the scale of future pitch requirements from local assessments. A national study (Niner, 2006) suggests that there is a pitch shortfall across Wales although the supply and need situation is varies greatly between areas. In the absence of a comprehensive picture of local requirements it is not possible to carry out the same sort of analyses as in England. However, even in the absence of information on requirements, the overall conclusion on pitch provision in Wales is clear. Both the Caravan Count and our survey indicate that the number of authorised pitches across Wales has at best been static since 2006 and has probably decreased. Based on the 16 authorities responding to the survey: There has been a 16 pitch increase since 2006 taking into account total net change in pitch numbers on social and private sites. If pitches provided with only temporary/personal planning permissions are ignored, there has been a four pitch decrease between 2006 and 2009. There has been a net loss of pitches on social sites, often linked to site improvements. Two temporary social sites, effectively tolerated encampments, have been established since 2006 and these are counted as gains in the figures above. There has been a small increase in completions on private sites, almost all with temporary/personal planning permissions. There are some encouraging signs for future pitch provision: The Welsh Assembly Government, in its draft Gypsy Traveller Strategy, has set a target to deliver two new social Gypsy and Traveller sites by 2013. Of the 16 authorities responding to the survey, three plan to develop new social sites, together providing 24 pitches. Realising these plans is probably entirely dependent on continuing Grant funding. Unlike ODPM Circular 01/2006 in England, WAG Circular 30/2007 does not set objectives for site provision. However, there is still a presumption that, where there is need, additional Gypsy and Traveller sites should be provided. Significant change is needed if this is to be achieved. 110

Barriers to Gypsy and Traveller site provision The first Commission progress review identified a number of barriers to site provision. These include: Opposition to site developments and to Gypsies and Travellers by members of the settled community. Locating appropriate land for site/pitch development. The regional and local planning policy approach. Funding and finance (prior to the removal of the sites Grant). Conflicts with the broader needs of the local authority area. Leadership issues at a national level.

The current review shows that these barriers are still seen as very important by local authority respondents in England and in Wales. The three most significant perceived barriers in England were: 1. Difficulty in identifying appropriate land. 2. Public/elected member opposition. 3. Funding and finance. In Wales the order was slightly different: 1. Funding and finance. 2. Public/elected member opposition. 3. Negative media issues. Survey answers suggest that barriers are particularly difficult to surmount because they operate together thus finding suitable sites is made difficult because of public opposition which impacts through the planning framework on elected members. When funding and finance are limited, it is particularly hard to provide the leadership required to give priority to an unpopular minority group. Barriers perceived by local authority respondents, together with other findings from this progress report, suggest three main groupings of issues that need to be tackled. These are: Site finding and the planning framework. Funding and finance.

111

Commitment and overcoming opposition.

Each of these issues is discussed in greater depth below and suggestions for their resolution are presented. Site identification and the planning framework [Note: The following section was prepared prior to proposed changes to the planning framework and replacement of planning circulars with light touch guidance. However, the findings below should prove useful in understanding which aspects of the framework and circulars were helpful and the need for government to explain what will replace these to ensure local authorities are supported to provide sites. The Decentralism and Localism Bill is likely to contain further detail, subject to parliamentary approval.] The planning circulars in England and Wales have sought to mainstream Gypsy and Traveller site provision by requiring an assessment of the need for provision and then, where need is identified, encouraging allocation of land for sites in the Local Development Framework in England (Core Strategy and land allocation Development Plan Documents) and in the Local Development Plan in Wales. Once land is identified in this way, the mainstream plan-led development control process can operate to facilitate site provision by both social providers and Gypsies and Travellers themselves. Until this infrastructure of planning documents is in place, the plan-led system cannot operate effectively. A revised way of working will be necessary if the Regional Spatial Planning system is revoked. In England, by 2011 (five years after Circular 01/2006), about three-quarters of local authorities are currently due to have a Core Strategy in place identifying criteria for suitable land for Gypsy and Traveller sites, but only about one in five will have a Development Plan Document (DPD) identifying actual locations for sites. Again the revoking of the Regional Spatial Planning system will impact how land is identified at a sub/supra local level. In Wales, most authorities are in the process of preparing draft Local Development Plans, but not all will include land allocations for sites.

112

The lack of a finalised planning framework and proposed changes to the regional tier mean that significant proportions of Gypsy and Traveller site planning applications may be: refused (refusal may or may not be reversed by an appeal), or only granted temporary permissions because they are in the wrong place - where Gypsies and Travellers have found affordable and available land, often in locations with a presumption against development. The findings of this review support this: In England, Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) statistics show that there is still a significant difference in the likelihood of success of planning applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites compared with mainstream residential developments. In 2009, 52 per cent of all local authority planning decisions on Gypsy and Traveller site development resulted in an approval compared with 69 per cent for mainstream residential developments. Our survey showed that, over the period 2006 to 2009, 50 per cent of planning permissions granted for new private Gypsy and Traveller sites by local authorities and on appeal were temporary or personal rather than permanent permissions. Temporary permissions introduce uncertainty for Gypsies and Travellers and mean that future decisions will have to be taken when they expire. The issue is not solved. The survey also shows that 39 per cent of planning permissions on new private sites were granted on appeal rather than by the local planning authority. Appeals are expensive and disruptive for both Gypsies and Travellers and local authorities. In this context, site allocation DPDs (England) and Local Development Plans (Wales) offer an important means of addressing current shortfalls. In addition, all authorities should: Offer, and publicise access to, meaningful advice to Gypsy and Traveller applicants on the types of locations where site applications might succeed. Take a firm line both in policy and procedures against racist representations in objections to planning applications. Always seriously consider the possibility of granting a temporary planning permission where it is impossible to offer an alternative location, and

113

particularly where there is the probability that a Planning Inspector would grant permission on appeal. In England the planning framework of Circular 01/2006 includes the regional level where regional planning bodies determine the number of pitches to be provided in each local planning authority, and monitor progress towards meeting these targets. Each region has approached this in a different way, and by May 2010 (over four years after the issue of Circular 01/2006) only the East Midlands and East of England have approved Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) detailing the number of pitches to be planned for by each local planning authority. On the basis of the available data, however, we believe that work carried out at regional level to date is very valuable and has led to debate on site provision issues and a clearer understanding of the process. This must not be lost. In addition, some form of oversight body is needed to ensure that site provision is adequate: Targets (or at least firm objectives) set at a level above the individual local authority seem to be essential where unpopular land use is involved. A clear target makes it easier for an authority to resist local opposition. At national or regional level, targets give an idea of the scale of an issue and the resources needed. If incentives are to replace targets, monitoring success in the delivery of sites is important to indicate whether this is an adequate approach, given a context of public opposition and prejudice. Similarly, there needs to be some form of oversight to ensure that plans are being implemented, and that the needs of socially excluded ethnic minorities are being met in accordance with race relations legislation. In Wales, the simpler Local Development Plan system should expedite progress on site provision. It is important that the Welsh Assembly Government plays an oversight role and monitors progress on plan preparation and implementation. Funding and finance Funding and finance are perceived as a significant barrier, especially in Wales where the majority of current site provision and anticipated new provision is in the social sector. Gypsy and Traveller Site Grants are no longer available in both England and Wales for the provision of new sites. In both countries local authority respondents reported plans for new social Gypsy and Traveller

114

sites. Implementation of these plans probably depends on the continuation of Grant support. The survey reveals that social site quality is still a concern for just under half of English and over half of Welsh local authorities. Plans are in place in many authorities for remedying physical problems which again are dependent on the availability of Grant for refurbishment. Not all concerns relate to physical conditions which can be remedied by refurbishment; some are environmental or related to the location of the site and some are social, especially related to family conflicts between site residents or between existing residents and would-be residents. Tackling these latter issues would benefit from more detailed attention than they receive in the CLGs good practice guidance on site management (CLG, 2009). Commitment and overcoming opposition Opposition to Gypsy and Traveller site provision from the public and/or elected members, possibly exacerbated by negative media coverage, leads to problems in finding suitable sites and constitutes a powerful barrier to site provision. This is exacerbated in the current economic context. If site provision is not a local priority and leadership is lacking, it is a barrier which is very hard to overcome. Survey answers suggest that there are no quick fixes here but patient and persistent working through different forms of engagement with the settled and the Gypsy and Traveller communities, other agencies and elected members. A number of authorities described working with other authorities in a sub-region. Some spoke of strategies which address a whole spectrum of policy areas affecting Gypsies and Travellers including health, education and welfare, managing unauthorised camping, and equalities and diversity work as well as site provision per se. The survey suggests that there is good practice in a minority of authorities but that others are doing very little. Many of the recommendations in the Commissions 2009 briefing paper Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together are aimed at overcoming barriers of this sort by increasing understanding and awareness, creating better channels of communication, and ensuring that Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues are mainstreamed and embedded in local strategies. One of the objectives of the survey was to see how far the recommendations of Simple Solutions were being followed. The main findings on recommendations not already discussed are:

115

About a third of both English and Welsh authorities who responded say that they have a holistic strategic vision for their work with Gypsies and Travellers. While such visions are variable, the best include a wide range of policies and actions. (Strategic visions could be affected by recent changes to RSS and spending decisions.)

The majority of local authorities in England and Wales have policies or actions concerning Gypsies and Travellers in their Housing Strategies (over 80 per cent either have or are preparing such policies and/or actions). Inclusion of specific policies/actions in other strategies (homelessness and community strategies) is much less widespread. This form of embeddedness appears to be increasing in that proportions are higher now than they were in the first Commission review, but it is still not universal.

Over four in 10 English authorities (42 per cent) and 56 per cent of Welsh authorities said that accommodation issues for Gypsies and Travellers are specifically included in their plans and reports required under the Race Equality Duty. While we have no information on the nature or extent of such inclusion, it appears from survey answers that the majority of authorities that completed this section are aware of their race relations responsibilities, and that equality policies are useful in focusing attention on the issues. Again, there are authorities which are doing little.

Two-thirds of English and a higher proportion of Welsh authorities have completed or are in the process of carrying out a review of their Gypsy and Traveller accommodation policy.

About half of authorities in England and Wales had carried out some form of training in 2009 for elected members, senior officers and/or frontline staff, and others had not done so because such training had been carried out in 2008 or was planned early in 2010. A variety of training had been carried out in-house or through other providers.

Two-thirds of authorities in England and Wales said that they have a forum or some other arrangement in place to foster good communications with members of the community, including Gypsies and Travellers. Forums and other arrangements for communication probably vary considerably in form and remit, and in the extent of inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller community members. However, it is significant that most local authorities say that they have some arrangements.

While not a specific recommendation of Simple Solutions, almost threequarters of English and 44 per cent of Welsh authorities have adopted some measures to assist Gypsies and Travellers who want to access or

116

retain bricks and mortar housing (in England the main measure is some form of housing-related support for Gypsies and Travellers; in Wales it is having a Gypsy or Traveller Liaison Officer in post). The existence of a wider strategic framework, training activities and communication channels might be seen as a form of infrastructure similar to that represented by planning documents. We tried to check whether having such an infrastructure in place has any effect on site provision performance. Numbers are very small, and probably subject to sample variation, but average net increase in pitch numbers between 2006 and 2009 is greater for authorities which have a holistic strategic vision in place than for those which do not. A similar relationship is apparent with having reviewed a Gypsy and Traveller accommodation policy, undertaking some form of training on Gypsy and Traveller issues during 2009, and having a forum or other arrangement for communications with the communities. The largest effect is found in relation to training activities: these are associated with a doubling of the average pitch increase (albeit only from +3 to +6 pitches). Overall, the findings suggest that progress in this area of wider strategies and infrastructure is quite encouraging but very patchy. There is some excellent proactive good practice but, at the same time, some authorities are doing very little. Encouragingly, high-priority authorities in England (with the highest pitch requirements) are most active across the board. In this context, the aim should be to bring practice more widely up to the best. The CLG Gypsy and Traveller Unit, the Homes and Communities Agency and Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID) have all worked to increase awareness of the issues surrounding Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues and site provision. We recommend that these activities continue and that other channels are explored for facilitating the sharing of good practice around site provision. Information on progress In closing, we think it is important to reflect on how monitoring of progress on these issues might be taken forward. This research has drawn on existing published information and on a one-off purpose-designed survey. Information availability has improved since the first Commission review with the publication of development control statistics for Gypsy and Traveller site planning decisions for England, and a similar exercise is planned for Wales.

117

There is still, however, room for improvement: The accuracy and consistency of the Caravan Count, for instance, is commonly questioned, and figures based on the Count are frequently challenged by Gypsies and Travellers (evidenced by submissions to Examinations in Public on Regional Spatial Strategy Reviews). We became aware of inconsistencies ourselves when trying to chart progress since 2006 in the treatment of sites with temporary planning permissions. A review of the system, and particularly of ways in which the quality of the data can be assessed, would be helpful. Data on net additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches should be monitored and published.

118

Appendix 1:

Survey methodology

The local authority survey was the main source of primary information. Its findings are reported in Chapter 4 to 7 of this report. The questionnaire and covering letter used are in Appendices 2 and 3. The questionnaire was developed from that used in the first Equality and Human Rights Commission progress review with some simplification in parts and elaboration in others. Three themes underlay the amendments: One purpose of the research was to update progress since the first review reported in 2009. However, it was unlikely that the same local authorities would respond as in the first review. Therefore the survey asked for progress (for example on planning applications and pitch completions) over the whole period 2006 to 2009. To assist any future updates this information has, wherever seemed reasonable, been collected on the basis of full calendar years. Areas of primary interest and concern for the Commission have shifted somewhat since the first review. Section D of the questionnaire is greatly expanded in coverage over the first survey in order to assess progress against the recommendations of the briefing paper Simple Solutions. In compensation, the section on the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant, included in the first survey, has been omitted. This report now relies on secondary data for Grant progress. Maximising response was an important objective within the survey design. With this in mind, the questionnaire was kept as brief as possible. For example, in Section D authorities were asked whether they had various policies, but not for the details of what is included in those policies. Such follow-up questions would have added greatly to the time required to complete the survey and might have deterred response. Because the planning system is rather different in Wales, Section A of the Welsh version of the questionnaire was specifically tailored. A translated questionnaire and covering letter was sent to all Welsh authorities along with English versions. One response was received in Welsh. The questionnaires and accompanying documents were issued on 8 December 2009 in England and on 7 January 2010 in Wales. They were

sent to the email addresses of CEOs in all local authorities in both countries. A commercial mailing list was used for this purpose although a number of recipients details required further clarification. For the small number of local authorities where emails could not be sent (mainly due to technological reasons such as firewalls and spam filters), hard copies of the documents were posted. CEO recipients were encouraged to confirm receipt and to confirm to whom the questionnaire was being sent for completion. A minimum of three weeks was allocated for this initial completion period (15 January 2010 deadline for English authorities and 29 January 2010 for Wales). At this stage we had received a 37 per cent response rate for England and a 14 per cent response for Wales. Non-responding authorities were contacted by email (to the officer completing the questionnaire or the CEO) to advise of a two-week extension to the deadline for receipt of completed questionnaires. This extension resulted in an overall response rate of 55 per cent for England and 36 per cent for Wales. From this stage on, intensive chasing was carried out by a mixture of email reminders and telephone contacts. Every local authority received at least one telephone reminder. The final date for receipt of a completed questionnaire to be included in the analysis was 26 March 2010. Response rates Following this intensive chasing, an excellent overall response rate of 80 per cent was achieved (being 80 per cent of English and 73 per cent of Welsh authorities). The following tables show response by region, type of authority and priority category. Table A1.1: Response by Region Region All LAs North East 12 North West 39 Yorks & Humber 21 East Midlands 40 West Midlands 30 East 47 London 33 South East 67 South West 37 England 326 Wales 22

Responding LAs 12 33 16 32 24 39 24 54 27 261 16

% response 100 85 76 80 80 83 73 81 73 80 73

120

The response rate is over 70 per cent in all regions, and the sample and survey findings can be accepted as geographically representative. Table A1.2: Response by Type of Local Authority Type of LA All LAs Responding LAs London Boroughs 33 24 Metropolitan 37 33 Districts Unitary Councils 55 45 District Councils 201 159 England 326 261 Wales 22 16

% response 73 89 82 79 80 73

Similarly, the sample appears broadly representative by type of authority and by priority category. Table A1.3: Response by Priority Category : England Type of LA All LAs Responding LAs High priority 37 29 Medium priority 203 168 Low priority 84 64 England 326 261

% response 78 83 76 80

Following a letter sent by the Commission to non-responding local authorities, a further 43 completed questionnaires were received (40 from England and three from Wales) bringing the overall response rate to 92 per cent. These 43 responses are not included in the analyses in this report.

121

Appendix 2:
FAO: CEO

Text of covering letter to local authorities

Assessment of Local Authorities' Progress in Meeting the Accommodation Needs of Gypsies and Travellers: 2009-10 Update I am writing to ask you for your assistance in ensuring that we collect accurate data on the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers in England and Wales. A year ago, we commissioned research into English local authorities' progress on this issue. That research showed that while some progress has been made, this is insufficient to meet both assessed need and Government targets to significantly increase provision by 2011. We are now following up this work with all local authorities in England and Wales. We want to support local authorities to meet their obligations but reserve the right to take legal action if we feel progress is not sufficient. I would be grateful if your office could co-ordinate the completion of the attached questionnaire and return it to Sharron Henning at the University of Salford by 15 January 2010. The Commission will publish the research results next year. Information relating to local authorities, including whether they respond to the survey, may be included in the final report. If you require further information about this project, please contact Tim Wainwright, who leads this area of work for the Commission tim.wainwright@equalityhumanrights.com Thank you in advance for your co-operation. Neil Kinghan Interim Director General

Appendix 3:

Local authority survey questionnaire

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION MONITORING PROGRESS IN MEETING GYPSY AND TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION NEEDS The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is monitoring the progress being made by local authorities in assessing and meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers since Planning Circular 01/2006 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites. In March 2009, EHRC published its first review of progress (carried out by the Universities of Salford and Birmingham) and is now seeking to update these findings one year on. This survey will form the core research evidence to measure progress. Details of how to complete the questionnaire are given on the next page. Please complete and return the questionnaire by 15th January 2010 via email to s.l.henning@salford.ac.uk or in hard copy by post to:

Sharron Henning Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit Business House University Road The University of Salford Salford M5 4WT

If you have any queries about completing the questionnaire, please contact Sharron Henning (s.l.henning@salford.ac.uk or tel: 0161 2952927) or Philip Brown (p.brown@salford.ac.uk or tel: 0161 295 3647) Local authority Contact name Telephone number E-mail address

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION MONITORING PROGRESS IN MEETING GYPSY AND TRAVELLER ACCOMMODATION NEEDS

INTRODUCTION AND INSTRUCTIONS


This questionnaire forms the central element of research commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to monitor local authority progress in assessing and meeting the culturally-specific accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. Progress is being measured following the publication of ODPM Circular 01/2006 Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites4. The focus of the survey is the provision of caravan site pitches for Gypsies and Travellers, including New Travellers where appropriate, but excluding provision specifically intended for Travelling Showpeople. The questionnaire is being sent to all local authorities in England and Wales. Information provided in the questionnaire will be analysed, along with material from Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessments (GTAAs), Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the Caravan Count, at individual local authority level. Information attributable to local authorities will be reported to the EHRC and may appear in published reports. The EHRC will be informed which authorities have responded and not responded to the survey and a list may be published in their final report. In order to better understand the current position, some opinion information is requested in Section E. Answers to these questions (Section E only) will be reported on a non-attributed basis only and the anonymity of responding authorities will be maintained. We have tried to keep the questionnaire as short and simple as possible. We recognise that it may be necessary to involve planning, housing, equalities and Gypsy and Traveller officers in completing the survey. For clarity and to assist with this, the questionnaire is divided into the following sections: A. B. C. D.
4

The Gypsy and Traveller Site Planning Process Social Sites Progress on Pitch Provision on Private Gypsy and Traveller Sites since 2006 Site Provision in a Strategic Context

ODPM: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister now Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG)

E. Views and Comments Instructions on how to complete the questionnaire are given in bold and italics. Where questions and available options do not allow an adequate expression of your views, please provide a more appropriate answer or explanation in the spaces available. Most questions require a box to be ticked if completing this electronically please use an X in the box if more convenient.

125

A. The Gypsy and Traveller Site Planning Process


Note : In this section and throughout the questionnaire a pitch means the area of a site occupied by a single family broadly equivalent to a dwelling.

A1. Is the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) covering your area complete, as required by the Housing Act 2004? Please tick one box only Yes Go to A2 No please give estimated Go to A3 completion date:

A2. Did this GTAA reveal a requirement for additional sites/pitches in your area? Please tick one box only Yes No

A3. Does your authoritys Core Strategy set out criteria for the location of Gypsy and Traveller sites to be used to guide the allocation of sites in the relevant Development Plan Documents? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date: Go to A5 Go to A5

No A4. Please explain why not? Please write in

Go to A4

A5. Does your authority have an approved Development Plan Document which details Gypsy and Traveller site allocations? Please tick one box only

126

Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date:

Go to A6 Go to A6

No

Go to A7

A6. Is this Development Plan Document approved or being prepared on a single authority or joint authority basis? Please tick one box only Single Joint

A7. How many additional pitches for Gypsies and Travellers does your authority need to provide/allocate in the first five year planning period (e.g. 2006-2011)? Please distinguish between pitches for residential (permanent) use and transit pitches or stopping places.

Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place

Pitches required
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

A8. What is the source of this pitch requirement? Please tick as many boxes as appropriate GTAA Regional Spatial Strategy Other please specify:

A9. How are these requirements split between social (local authority or registered social landlord) and private provision? Tenure of provision Requirements
(enter number or

Dont know
(please tick)

127

proportion)

Social provision Private provision

A10. Will the identified shortfalls be met during the first five year planning period (e.g. by 2011)? Please tick one box only Yes certainly Yes probably No unlikely No certainly Go to A12 Go to A12 Go to A11 Go to A11

A11. Please explain Why not? When will the identified shortfalls be met? Please write in

A12. Which department within the authority has lead responsibility for developing site provision for Gypsies and Travellers? Please tick one box only Housing Planning Equalities Corporate Other please specify:

128

B. Social Sites
In this section, social sites are those owned by a local authority or registered social landlord. B1. Is there one or more social Gypsy and Traveller site in your area? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B2 Go to B12

B2. Do you have any significant concerns over the quality and/or sustainability of a social site in your area? Please tick one box only Yes No Dont know Go to B3 Go to B5 Go to B5

B3. Please describe these concerns. Please write in

B4. Are there any firm plans for addressing these concerns? Please write in

B5. Have any new social sites opened in your area since the start of 2006? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B6 Go to B7

B6. Please indicate in the table below what type of social site(s) have opened, the number of pitches provided and the year of opening (that is, when residents first moved in). Residential or Number of Year

129

transit New social site 1 New social site 2 New social site 3 New social site 4

pitches

130

B7. Have any social sites in your area been extended to provide more pitches since the start of 2006? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B8 Go to B9

B8. Please indicate in the table below what type of social site(s) have been extended, how many additional pitches were provided, and the year the additional pitches were opened (that is, when residents first moved in). Residential or transit Extended social site 1 Extended social site 2 Extended social site 3 Extended social site 4 Number of pitches Year

B9. Have any pitches been lost from existing social sites in your area since the start of 2006? Please do not include here any sites which have closed entirely. Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B10 Go to B12

B10. Please indicate in the table below the type of pitches lost and the year of loss. Residential or transit Social site with pitches lost 1 Social site with pitches lost 2 Social site with pitches lost 3 Social site with pitches lost 4 B11. What were the reasons for pitch loss? Please write in Number of pitches Year

B12. Have any social sites closed entirely or been sold or leased in your area since the start of 2006? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B13 Go to B15

B13. Please indicate in the table below the type of sites closed entirely, sold or leased the number of pitches involved and the year of closure/sale/lease.

131

Residential or transit Social site closed etc 1 Social site closed etc 2 Social site closed etc 3 Social site closed etc 4

Number of pitches

Year

B14. What were the reasons for site closure or sale/lease? How many pitches on these sites remain available for use by Gypsies and Travellers? Please write in

B15. Are any social sites currently being planned or in development in your area? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to B16 Go to C1

B16. Please indicate in the table below the type of sites being planned or developed, the number of pitches involved and the expected year the site will be opened. Residential or transit Social site being planned 1 Social site being planned 2 Social site in development 1 Social site in development 2 Number of pitches Year

132

C. Progress on Provision of Private Gypsy and Traveller Sites since 2006


This section relates to sites intended for occupation by Gypsies and Travellers provided by private organisations and individuals including Gypsy and Traveller families. C1. Has your authority received any planning applications involving the development or extension of private Gypsy and Traveller sites between January 2006 and end December 2009? Please include any applications to renew temporary permissions. Please tick one box only Yes No Go to C2 Go to C3

C2. Please complete the grid overleaf to provide information on the number of applications and approvals 2006 to 2009. Please record applications and decisions against the year they were received or taken. Please indicate the number of pitches or caravans involved in each.

133

Please enter numbers

Grid for recording answers to C2


New site Applications Pitches/ caravans Extended site Applications Pitches/ caravans Renewal of permission Applications Pitches/ caravans

2006
Applications received Permanent permissions granted Temporary or personal permissions granted Permanent permissions granted on appeal Temporary or personal permissions granted on appeal

2007
Applications received Permanent permissions granted Temporary or personal permissions granted Permanent permissions granted on appeal Temporary or personal permissions granted on appeal

2008
Applications received Permanent permissions granted Temporary or personal permissions granted Permanent permissions granted on appeal Temporary or personal permissions granted on appeal

2009
Applications received Permanent permissions granted Temporary or personal permissions granted Permanent permissions granted on appeal Temporary or personal

134

permissions granted on appeal

135

C3. How many pitches with permanent planning permission on private Gypsy and Traveller sites have been completed (occupied or ready for occupation) in your area since the start of 2006? Please include any previously unauthorised private pitches granted permanent planning permission during the period. Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place Of these, how many have been completed during 2009? Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place Pitches
(enter number)

Pitches
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

Dont know
(please tick)

C4. How many pitches with temporary planning permission on private Gypsy and Traveller sites have been completed (occupied or ready for occupation) in your area since the start of 2006? Please include any previously unauthorised private pitches granted temporary planning permission during the period. Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place Of these, how many were completed during 2009? Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place Pitches
(enter number)

Pitches
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

Dont know
(please tick)

C5. How many pitches on authorised private Gypsy and Traveller sites (i.e. with planning permission) have closed or otherwise ceased to be available for use by Gypsies and Travellers since the start of 2006? Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place Of these, how many were closed or lost during 2009? Pitches
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

136

Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place

Pitches
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

C6. What arrangements are in place to advise Gypsies and Travellers on the most suitable land for residential use and provide help with the planning application process? Please write in

C7. Does your authority have an internal policy on how to deal with racist representations in the planning approval process? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below Go to D1 Go to D1

No C8. Why not? Please write in

Go to C8

137

D. Site Provision in a Strategic Context


This section aims to establish the local strategic context within which Gypsy and Traveller site provision policies are set. It is intended to focus on Gypsies and Travellers rather than issues related to Roma and new migrants. It also seeks to establish progress against the recommendations of EHRCs report Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together (2009). D1. Has your authority reviewed policies on accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers as recommended by the EHRC? Please tick one box only Yes reviewed before 2009 Yes reviewed in 2009 In preparation please give estimated completion date below Go to D3 Go to D3 Go to D3

No

Go to D2

D2. Are there any particular reasons why there has been no review? What are they? Please write in

D3. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Housing Strategy aimed at providing or facilitating the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below

No

D4. Are any specific measures in place to help Gypsies and Travellers who want it to access and/or retain bricks and mortar accommodation in your area? Please tick one box only

138

Yes No

Go to D5 Go to D6

D5. What are these measures? Please tick all that apply

Gypsy/Traveller Liaison Officer(s) in post Housing related support provided to Gypsies and Travellers Gypsies and Travellers prioritised on housing waiting lists Housing allocation policies sensitive to Gypsy and Traveller needs Gypsies and Travellers are identified on ethnic monitoring forms Research carried out on accommodation and support needs (in addition to a GTAA) Other (Please specify)

D6. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Homelessness Strategy aimed at providing or facilitating the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below

139

No

D7. Is there a policy or action in your authoritys Community Strategy relating to Gypsies and Travellers which might assist their accommodation needs and/or social integration? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below

No

D8. Were Gypsies and Travellers consulted in the process of preparing the following strategies? Please tick all that apply Yes No Review of Gypsy / Traveller accommodation policy Housing strategy Homelessness strategy Community strategy Not applicable

D9. Are accommodation issues for Gypsies and Travellers specifically included in your authoritys plans or reports required under the Race Equality Duty? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below

No

140

D10. Have Gypsy and Traveller accommodation issues been specifically included in your authoritys approach to the Equality Framework for Local Government? Please tick one box only Yes In preparation please give estimated completion date below

No

D11. Has your authority carried out or facilitated specific training activities on issues related to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation and/or Gypsy and Traveller equality issues during 2009? Please tick all that apply Yes for elected members Yes for senior officers Yes for frontline staff No Go to D13 Go to D13 Go to D13 Go to D12

D12. Are there any particular reasons why not? What are they? Please write in

D13. Has your authority established a Gypsy and Traveller Interagency Forum, or made specific arrangements to create good communications with the local community, including Gypsies and Travellers themselves, to facilitate discussion of site provision? Please tick all that apply Yes, established a Forum Yes, other arrangements No Go to D15 Go to D14 Go to D15

D14. What other arrangements are in place? Please write in

141

D15. Overall, does your authority have in place a holistic strategic vision for your work on Gypsies and Travellers, including site provision? Please tick one box only Yes No Go to D16 Go to D17

D16. Please describe the main elements making up this holistic strategic vision. Please write in then go to E1. NOTE: Feel free to attach further documents to illustrate this

D17. What priority actions does your authority intend to take to develop such a holistic strategic vision? Please write in

142

E. Views and Comments


Note : Any answers provided in this section of the questionnaire will be treated as confidential to the research team and reported only in a generalised, nonattributed manner

E1. The EHRCs first review of progress on site provision identified the main barriers to provision of additional sites for Gypsies and Travellers. These are listed below. From your own experience, please indicate how important each of these barriers is in your authority. Barriers: Lack of awareness of the issue among policy makers Public/elected member opposition Negative media issues Difficultly in identifying appropriate land The planning framework Funding and finance Gypsy and Traveller site provision not a local priority Leadership issues Very important Quite important Not important

E2. Please use this space to provide further comments you feel would be useful in amplifying your response to E1 above. Please write in

E3. Are there any other barriers to additional site provision, in your experience? Please write in

143

E4. What proactive measures are being taken by your local authority to tackle these barriers and increase site provision? Please highlight any examples of activity you feel is good practice to be shared. Please write in

E5. Any other comments you would like to make about Gypsy and Traveller site requirements and/or provision. Please write in

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

144

SECTION A OF QUESTIONNAIRE USED IN WALES A. The Gypsy and Traveller Site Planning Process
Note : In this section and throughout the questionnaire a pitch means the area of a site occupied by a single family broadly equivalent to a dwelling. A1. Is the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTAA) covering your area complete, as required by the Housing Act 2004? Please tick one box only Yes Go to A2 No please give estimated Go to A3 completion date:

A2. Did this GTAA reveal a requirement for additional sites/pitches in your area? Please tick one box only Yes No

A3. Please indicate the latest stage reached in the preparation of your authoritys Local Development Plan (see Local Development Plans Wales, Welsh Assembly Government, 2005). Deposit draft submitted to Welsh Assembly Government/Planning Inspectorate Deposit draft complete Deposit draft in preparation Delivery agreement complete Evidence base reviewed and developed None of these Go to A5 Go to A5 Go to A5 Go to A5 Go to A5 Go to A4

A4. Please explain why none of the stages has been completed. Please write in

A5. What type of policy on provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers is included (will be included) in the Deposit Draft? Please tick as many boxes as appropriate Specific location(s) identified for sites

145

Criteria-based policy Rural exception site policy Other please specify

Not yet decided

A6. Is your authority developing policy on provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers on a single authority or a joint authority basis? Please tick one box only Single Joint

A7. How many additional pitches for Gypsies and Travellers does your authority need to provide/allocate in the first five year planning period (e.g. 2008-2013)? Please distinguish between pitches for residential (permanent) use and transit pitches or stopping places.

Type of pitch Residential (permanent) Transit or stopping place

Pitches required
(enter number)

Dont know
(please tick)

A8. What is the source of this pitch requirement? Please tick as many boxes as appropriate GTAA Other please specify:

A9. How are these requirements split between social (local authority or registered social landlord) and private provision? Tenure of provision Requirements
(enter number or proportion)

Dont know
(please tick)

146

Social provision Private provision

A10. Will the identified shortfalls be met during the first five year planning period (e.g. by 2013)? Please tick one box only Yes certainly Yes probably No unlikely No certainly Go to A12 Go to A12 Go to A11 Go to A11

A11. Please explain why not? When will the identified shortfalls be met? Please write in

A12. Which department within the authority has lead responsibility for developing site provision for Gypsies and Travellers? Please tick one box only Housing Planning Equalities Corporate Other please specify:

147

Appendix 4:

Local authorities responding to the survey

Local authorities included in the analysis:


North East Darlington Durham Gateshead Hartlepool UA Middlesbrough UA Newcastle-upon-Tyne North West Allerdale Barrow-in-Furness Blackpool UA Burnley Bury Carlisle Cheshire East UA Cheshire West UA Chorley Eden Fylde Halton UA Hyndburn Knowsley Liverpool Oldham

North Tyneside Northumberland UA Redcar & Cleveland UA South Tyneside Stockton-on-Tees UA Sunderland

Pendle Preston Rochdale Rossendale Salford Sefton South Lakeland South Ribble St Helens Stockport Tameside Trafford Warrington UA West Lancashire Wirral Wyre

Yorkshire & Humber Kingston upon Hull UA North East Lincolnshire UA North Lincolnshire UA Craven Harrogate Ryedale Scarborough Selby Barnsley

Doncaster Rotherham Sheffield Bradford Calderdale Kirklees Wakefield York

East Midlands Amber Valley

Kettering

148

Ashfield Bassetlaw Bolsover Boston Charnwood Chesterfield Corby Daventry Derby UA Derbyshire Dales East Northamptonshire Erewash Gedling Harborough Hinckley & Bosworth West Midlands Birmingham Bromsgrove Cannock Chase Coventry Dudley Herefordshire Lichfield Malvern Hills Newcastle-under-Lyme North Warwickshire Redditch Sandwell East of England Babergh Basildon Bedford UA Braintree Breckland Brentwood Cambridge Castle Point Central Bedfordshire UA Colchester Dacorum East Cambridgeshire East Hertfordshire Epping Forest Fenland

Mansfield Melton Newark & Sherwood North East Derbyshire North Kesteven North West Leicestershire Northampton Rushcliffe Rutland UA South Derbyshire South Holland South Kesteven South Northamptonshire Wellingborough West Lindsey

Shropshire Solihull South Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent UA Telford & Wrekin UA Walsall Warwick Wolverhampton Worcester Wychavon Wyre Forest

Luton UA Maldon Mid Suffolk North Hertfordshire North Norfolk Norwich Rochford South Cambridgeshire South Norfolk Southend-on-Sea UA St Albans St Edmundsbury Suffolk Coastal Tendring Three Rivers

149

Forest Heath Harlow Huntingdonshire Ipswich Kings Lynn & West Norfolk London Barking & Dagenham Barnet Brent Bromley Camden Croydon Greenwich Hackney Haringey Harrow Havering Hillingdon South East Arun Ashford Aylesbury Vale Basingstoke & Deane Bracknell Forest UA Brighton & Hove UA Canterbury Cherwell Chiltern Crawley Dartford Dover East Hampshire Eastleigh Epsom & Ewell Fareham Gosport Gravesham Guildford Hart Hastings Havant Horsham Lewes Maidstone

Uttlesford Watford Waveney Welwyn Hatfield

Hounslow Kensington & Chelsea Lambeth Lewisham Merton Redbridge Richmond upon Thames Southwark Sutton Waltham Forest Wandsworth Westminster

Mole Valley Oxford Portsmouth UA Reading UA Reigate & Banstead Runnymede Rushmoor Sevenoaks Shepway Slough UA South Bucks South Oxfordshire Southampton UA Spelthorne Tandridge Thanet Tonbridge & Malling Tunbridge Wells Vale of White Horse Waverley West Berkshire UA West Oxfordshire Winchester Windsor & Maidenhead UA Woking

150

Medway Towns UA Mid Sussex Milton Keynes UA South West Bath & NE Somerset UA Bournemouth UA Bristol UA Cheltenham Christchurch Cornwall UA Cotswold East Dorset Exeter Forest of Dean Mendip North Devon North Somerset UA Plymouth UA Wales Blaenau Gwent Cardiff Ceredigion Conwy Denbighshire Gwynedd Isle of Anglesey Monmouthshire

Wokingham UA Wycombe

Purbeck Sedgemoor South Gloucestershire South Somerset Stroud Swindon UA Taunton Deane Teignbridge Torridge West Devon West Dorset Weymouth & Portland Wiltshire UA

Newport Pembrokeshire Powys Rhondda Cynon Taff Swansea Torfaen Vale of Glamorgan Wrexham

Local authorities responding after 26 March 2010 and not included in the analysis:
North West Bolton Copeland Lancaster Yorkshire & Humber Leeds East Midlands Blaby East Lindsey

Manchester Wigan

Lincoln Nottingham City

151

High Peak Leicester City West Midlands East Staffordshire Nuneaton & Bedworth East of England Broadland Hertsmere London Bexley Enfield South East Chichester Eastbourne Elmbridge Isle of Wight UA South West East Devon Gloucester Isles of Scilly Mid Devon Wales Bridgend Caerphilly

Oadby & Wigston

Stafford Staffordshire Moorlands

Peterborough Stevenage

Hammersmith & Fulham

Rother Surrey Heath Swale Worthing

North Dorset Poole UA South Hams Tewkesbury

Flintshire

152

References
Brown, P. and Niner, P. (2009) Assessing Local Housing Authorities Progress in Meeting the Accommodation Needs of Gypsy and Traveller Communities in England, Research Report: 13, Equality and Human Rights Commission Brown, P., Niner, P. and Lomax, D. (2010) Assessing Local Authorities Progress in Meeting the Accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller Communities in Scotland, Equality and Human Rights Commission Cemlyn, S., Greenfields, M., Burnett, S., Matthews, Z. and Whitwell, C. (2009) Inequalities Experienced by Gypsy and Traveller Communities: A review , Research report: 12, Equality and Human Rights Commission CLG (Communities and Local Government) (2009) Gypsy and Traveller Site Management: Good Practice Guide CLG (Communities and Local Government) and BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (2010) Policy Statement on Regional Strategies HCA (Homes and Communities Agency) (2010) Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant Programme: Bidding Guidance 2010/11 Niner, P. (2006) Accommodation Needs of Gypsy-Traveller in Wales, Welsh Assembly Government

153