London Mayor gives hope of progress for Gypsies and Travellers

August 15, 2017

On Thursday 10th August at Mayor’s Question Time, London Assembly member Tom Copley asked Sadiq Khan how his London Plan and Housing Strategy will cater for the accommodation needs of London’s Gypsy and Traveller community. The government recently restricted the definition of “Gypsy or Traveller” in planning terms, which has led some councils to decide that they have zero need for additional Traveller pitches in their boroughs.

Watch the Mayor’s response here:

We are really pleased with Mayor Khan’s response and his mention of our campaign. We are hopeful of a more progressive London Plan being created in the coming year.  

The key points to take away from the Mayor’s response:

  1. He wants to create a city where the accommodation needs of all Londoners, including Gypsies and Travellers, are met.
  2. He is committed to working closely with the community. His new draft London Plan will require London Boroughs to accurately identify the need for permanent sites and new pitches and will plan to meet the identified need using a more comprehensive definition of Gypsy and Travellers.  (Since 2008 this need has been identified as  800 new pitches by 2017. Less than 10 pitches have actually been built.)
  3. He mentioned the good work of our #weareallsomanythings campaign, which challenges prejudice and racism towards the community.
  4. He will provide funding for new sites and improve existing ones.
  5. He is going to instruct the Deputy Mayor for Housing, James Murray, to send a memo to all councils asking them to ensure that the accommodation needs of all Gypsy and Travellers in their borough are met – not just those who meet the Government’s very restrictive 2016 planning definition.

The Mayor has agreed to meet with the Deputy Mayor for Planning, the Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Borough Representatives and London Gypsies and Travellers to discuss negotiated stopping places.

We feel that, with all the support from Tom Copley, the work done by the community and LGT around planning policy and the amazing response from the community’s #weareallsomanythings campaign, we are beginning to make inroads and the Mayor of London is taking the needs of London’s Gypsies and Travellers seriously.

Speakers at City Hall event
Speakers at City Hall event

London Gypsies and Travellers are asking the Mayor of London:

  • to show his support for our campaign and publicly counters the prejudice directed at the community
  • bust myths: Gypsies and Travellers are residents of London, paying rent and council tax
  • ensure that new sites are delivered to meet the growing needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community.




More news

Injunctions under review

December 16, 2020

On Thursday 17th December 2020, a major case management hearing will take place ahead of an upcoming High Court case on anti-Traveller wide injunctions, due to be held in January 2021. Since 2015, councils have increasingly used injunctions to prevent Gypsies and Travellers from stopping on council-owned land. The majority of people who pull up …

New challenge to government planning rules

November 26, 2020

A court hearing on 10th and 11th December could determine that the government’s planning definition of Gypsies and Travellers is unlawful. The current planning definition, adopted in 2015, means that Gypsies and Travellers who have permanently stopped travelling in a caravan for work do not have their accommodation needs counted and struggle to get planning …

National Lottery funds new ‘Roadside Futures’ project

October 28, 2020

‘Roadside Futures’ project to improve lives of roadside Gypsies and Travellers across the UK, thanks to National Lottery funding Today, £2million in National Lottery funding has been awarded to ‘Roadside Futures’ which is a project that aims to improve the quality of life for nomadic Gypsies and Travellers and the communities in which they live …