Case study 1
Preventing community tensions and tackling stereotypes - Fenland District Council
Fenland District Council has one of the largest Gypsy and Traveller populations in the East of England. The Council currently manages five permanent Traveller sites on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council. It has developed a site with both space for permanent residents and temporary travellers. Individual family plots, as well as a large number of private sites are also available. This is successfully run on its behalf by an agent with Traveller heritage who is also helping people within the community develop their skills.
The Council has been proactive in engaging with Gypsy and Traveller communities. It has built up a good relationship with them and provides advice on making planning applications, advice on land acquisition and the development of privately-owned sites. It also develops skills within the community.
Provision of the sites has laid a good foundation for community relations in the area. The on-going engagement means that Travellers contact the Council when they want to set up a site, rather than taking the unauthorised route. Good site provision has also meant that Gypsy and Traveller issues are no longer attracting negative press coverage. The Portfolio holder for Gypsy Traveller issues at Fenland District Council, stated: “by providing good sites we avoid many of the problems associated with Gypsies and Travellers, which gave them a bad name and attract bad publicity.” Finally, the provision of sites has enabled Traveller children to grow up aware of their Gypsy heritage while having access to basic services such as schools and hospitals.
Sources: ' EHRC, 2009. 'Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together' and Fenland District Council.
Last updated: 27 Jun 2016