Leeds GATE members have enjoyed learning all about recording oral history as part of our project exploring the background and history of the Lee Gap horse fairs. The fairs, believed to be the oldest charter fair in England, take place each year in August and September.
The group enjoyed learning all about interview techniques and using recording equipment to practice in time for the first fair in August. There will be a display about the fair in the Leeds GATE marquee at ‘Latter Lee’ fair on the 17th August. This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery small grants programme.
Congratulations to Yorkshire Champion Boxer, Douglas Patterson who also made it to national finals this year. Pictured is the article from the Yorkshire Evening Post where Douglas (far right) and his class mates from Morley High show off their talents. With more competitions coming up keep an eye out for Douglas, a boxer with a huge amount of potential and commitment to training.
I have spent the last three days in Leeds Civic Hall council chamber listening to a Planning Inquiry into Leeds City Council’s application to extend its local authority Gypsy and Traveller site at Cottingley Springs on Gelderd Road. I’m quite possibly a sad person but, in truth, I find the inquiry fascinating. The main reason for my fascination, despite my misgivings on behalf of potential and existing site occupants, is because it is going to put Eric Pickles MP, notorious Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in a very difficult position. Mr Pickles’ purported wish to allow local authorities, and indeed local communities, to be autonomous decision makers doesn’t extend so far a making decisions about Gypsy sites. Indeed, should such applications fall within the greenbelt Mr Pickles has given himself the option to personally decide the merits of every such application. Localism? One can’t help wondering if Mr Pickles has really thought this one through. Read more
On recently supporting members in various Court proceedings, some glaring obstacles to fair justice have re-emerged. Whether serious criminal cases or smaller civil claims, whether defendant or claimant, some big challenges are faced by Gypsies and Travellers. Of course, the wider observation about unfair treatment of the community in legal processed is well documented. I rather wish to point out some of the more practical, often smaller technical difficulties, which further undermine access to justice, in addition to these broader discriminatory structures and attitudes.