Gypsies and Travellers living in Calderdale and Kirklees, we need to speak to you!












Do you live in Calderdale or Kirklees? Do you know anyone that lives in Calderdale or Kirklees?

We need your help!

We are delivering a Baseline Census for Calderdale and Kirklees Council. This means we are trying to find out how many Gypsies and Travellers live in Calderdale and Kirklees, what kind of accommodation they live in now and what they might want for the future. It’s a simple survey, 5 questions on one side of paper.

Paid work is available through Leeds GATE to deliver the surveys with people living in Calderdale or Kirklees.

Give us a ring on 0112 2402444 if you can help!

Calderdale and Kirklees includes these places:











Sowerby Bridge

Hebden Bridge



The councils will use the information from the surveys to help them plan what services and accommodation are needed in the area so it’s really important that we get people’s views so that the plans they make are the right plans for the community.

We did a Baseline Census in Leeds in 2004 and Leeds members will remember delivering the surveys for us, the information we found out has been really useful in making things happen in Leeds.



Posted in General News on January 21st, 2015

London Assembly says “Follow Leeds example on Gypsies” to Mayor Boris

The city of Leeds is leading the way on managing Gypsy and Traveller encampments according to the London Assembly following an enquiry by its Housing Committee and has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to follow our example. In a letter to the Mayor[1], the Assembly highlights innovative work being done elsewhere, which could be replicated in London.

Leeds City Council is saving £200,000 a year by introducing ‘toleration zones’, temporary sites for Gypsies and Travellers. In doing so, they have reduced crime and challenged the idea gypsy sites are beset by crime.

The Housing Committee recommends releasing land held by the Mayor, better coordination between councils and more knowledge of available funds to improve the situation.

Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee, said:

“London’s diversity is supposed to be its strength, but boroughs and the Mayor are falling well behind some of the outstanding work being done elsewhere.

“A pilot scheme, like the innovative system put in place in Leeds, could radically improve the lives of Gypsies and Travellers, while ensuring a balance with existing communities’ wishes.”

You can read the full letter from the London Assembly to Mayor Johnson Letter to Mayor

Posted in General News on January 15th, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

It’s that time of year! We’re winding down towards closing after our Christmas Party on Thursday 18th (the party starts at 3.30 after school).  You might also want to join us when we go to the Carol Service for local groups which is in the Church near to the office, St. Hilda’s, on Wednesday at 12.30.  It would be lovely to see some of our friends there, many thanks to St. Hilda’s for inviting us.

It’s been a really good year at Leeds GATE, We hope you’ll read about it in our Xmas Newsletter here.

Huge thanks to everyone who has played their part – too many to mention here. Best wishes to all for a lovely year to come.  We’ll be open again on Monday 5th.  See you in 2015!

Posted in GATE news, General News on December 12th, 2014

Consultation on new definition of Travellers in Planning – A smokescreen?

Leeds GATE has now submitted its formal response to the Department for Communities and Local Government planning consultation for Gypsies and Travellers. You can read our submissions here and here

Aside from a significant change to the planning definition of the community itself, to ‘those who have a nomadic habit of life’, there are a number of technical changes, largely relating to obtaining permission within the greenbelt, that are being consulted on. The broad thrust is the Government feel, against all the available evidence, that applications for Gypsy and Traveller sites have favourable treatment over other applications. They conclude that changes are required to ‘ensure fairness’ and better protect the greenbelt largely through suggesting changes to the balance between accommodation need and harm. Examples include changing Planning Policy to explicitly state ‘very strictly limit new traveller sites in the open countryside’ and that ‘intentional unauthorised occupation’, however defined, should be weighed against granting permission.

Read more

Posted in Leeds GATE Blog on December 9th, 2014
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