Gipsy and traveller strategy to be unveiled

PUBLISHED: 16:13 14 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 11 May 2010

PLANS for a gipsy and traveller community strategy are to be unveiled by a council. South Cambridgeshire District Council are proposing to start consultation on the strategy, details of which will be revealed at a meeting next Tuesday. Housing portfolio h

PLANS for a gipsy and traveller community strategy are to be unveiled by a council.

South Cambridgeshire District Council are proposing to start consultation on the strategy, details of which will be revealed at a meeting next Tuesday.

Housing portfolio holder, Cllr Mark Howell, said, "We have made good progress on our journey to becoming an organisation that can deliver equality and diversity and should celebrate our achievements so far. Gipsies and travellers are a part of South Cambridgeshire life and it is our duty to make sure they enjoy equality of service alongside our settled communities."

Gipsies and Travellers are South Cambridgeshire's largest ethnic minority, equating to one per cent of the district's population.

Last month, the district council announced that at least 88 additional gipsy and traveller pitches would be built in the district by 2021, with several potential sites identified, including land in Bassingbourn and Whaddon.

The draft strategy aims to ensure that gipsy and traveller rights and needs are integrated into existing council policies, while also addressing issues of social exclusion, and promoting community cohesion.

Cllr Howell added: "At my portfolio holder meeting I will be ensuring that we have the means in place to engage and consult effectively with both internal and external stakeholders to agree a final strategy and action plan.

"I will also make sure that the proposed consultation process will maximise opportunities to improve understanding of gipsy and traveller lifestyles, promote engagement with gipsies and travellers and enhance community cohesion," he said.

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