Haringey Travellers took a deputation to Haringey Council on Monday 15th July to press for action on new sites and poor site management. The group, led by seven Haringey Travellers, included workers from London Gypsies and Travellers.
Travellers are angry that the council has let their sites fall into disrepair. They have already taken action and won £200,000 of funding from the Housing Revenue Account for refurbishment, but they desperately need new sites. There are only 10 pitches in the borough and 405 Travellers in bricks and mortar accommodation according to a needs assessment published in 2008.
One new site was identified in a planning policy document in 2017, but the Council has done nothing to bring it forward for development. The deputation spokesperson said: “There are council car parks next to the two Travellers sites – Clyde Road and Wallman Place. Both car parks are development sites. The council already wants to develop them. So why can’t the Travellers’ sites be expanded into the car parks? This would help ease the overcrowding.”
“We know that there are many council-owned parcels of land that are identified for development. Some of this should be for council housing, and where new council homes are built, Travellers pitches could be part of that development.”
“The two staff in the Haringey Travelling People’s Team died last year. They have not been replaced. We don’t know if their posts were deleted or are just vacant. Now there is no-one in the Council to look after our needs. We feel that our whole community has been neglected.”
Cabinet Member for Housing Emine Ibrahim responded: “We are taking the issues that you have raised extremely seriously… I’m looking forward to meeting with you and there’s an ongoing dialogue with the GLA about one of the most important issues facing Haringey at the moment.”
LGT will be continuing to support Travellers to campaign for fair treatment in Haringey.