Government publishes guidance on Gypsy and Traveller sites during coronavirus crisis
The Government has just published guidance for councils engaging with roadside Traveller camps saying that they should provide water, portaloos and rubbish disposal.
The move came after intense lobbying from Gypsy Traveller NGO's Friends Families and Travellers, Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, The Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group and others.
In the guidance published online yesterday the Government says:
"During this unprecedented time Local Authorities have a responsibility to ensure all communities are supported to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the advice given by Public Health England. This includes members of Gypsy and Traveller communities."
However, Friends Families and Traveller (FFT) said that the guidance "must go further".
"We feel that guidance does not go far enough, especially in contrast with the Scottish and Welsh governments’ responses, which both gave clear instructions on halting evictions and went into more detail on the support local authorities should be offering at this time." said an FFT spokeperson.
In England, evictions of Traveller camps are still taking place to the "horror" of Gypsy and Traveller campaigners.
(Stock picture: A negotiated stopping site in Leeds. Name of the little dog unknown)