G.T.A.A.

ACCOMMODATION ASSESSMENTS

Information for Local authorities, Regional assemblies and Research groups carrying out assessments on their behalf.

This guild is well aware that assessments of need are being carried out throughout the country, under the heading of Gipsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessments.

The guild is keen to ensure its members are represented in these reports. We are anxious to be involved in these assessments at every level. From field work and interviews, to spatial strategies and every thing in between. Following our regular meetings with the Department for Communities & Local Government, we feel it is imperative that these reports are as accurate & informative of showmen's accommodation need as possible.

With this in mind we urge anyone carrying out these assessments, to contact their regional office of the showmen's guild.

It has become apparent through work carried out in the North West region that a number of issues must be addressed by those conducting the research any where else in the country; I.E. A representative of the showmen's guild should be invited onto the steering group of each assessments.

Showmen should have a separate section within each report specifically dedicated to their circumstances and needs. This is necessary as showmen's needs differ significantly from any other traveller group.

The North West region has already commissioned & completed its own report on the accommodation situation of showmen in that region. Its is hoped the other seven regions of the guild in England will produce a similar report soon.

These reports not only contain accurate statistical data of the number of showmen in each area, but also the differing types of accommodation, i.e. Authorized, unauthorized & illegal developments & encampments. Doubled up pitches, overcrowding of residential pitches, numbers of children under 16 years, plus the impact of vehicle overcrowding on a site, vehicle overcrowding is an issue unique to showmen and one that must be addressed when carrying out an assessment.

The guild can save you a great deal of time and money in collecting this information.

The North West report also contains a great deal of back ground information regarding showmen's cultural needs and aspirations towards accommodation. Up to date information on legislation, regarding showmen's planning guidance, from the Department for communities and local government is available. We are confident you will find the other seven reports equally informative.

In some areas we have found that showmen are being treated as ''add on'' to the G.T.A.A. We find this totally unacceptable and have raised this issue with the Department for Communities & Local Government.

We are sure it is everyone's wish to produce the best possible reports, in every area of the country. With this in mind we again urge you to contact the guild either at regional or national level.