Safe Homes for Scotland's Gypsy Traveller Communities

Everyone has a fundamental human right to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home. However, concerns have been raised about the quality of the sites available to Scotland’s Gypsy and Traveller communities. This event will explore the actions we can take to ensure that the communities have safe and secure places to stay, which respect their culture and traditions.

Improving the Lives of Scotland’s Gypsy Travellers

“It is fair to say that there has been plenty of talk but insufficient action. We have made some progress, but it has been patchy and inconsistent—to be frank, it has quite simply not been good enough […] I put on record the Scottish Government’s clear and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Gypsy Travellers.”
Angela Constance MSP, Former Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, (Scottish Parliament 12 June 2018)

The past year has seen a movement to address many of the challenges facing Scotland’s Gypsy Traveller communities. The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities has established a Ministerial Working Group that will take action to improve the lives of Gypsy/Traveller communities across a range of issues. 

The first meeting of the Ministerial Working Group in February 2018 focused on housing. A progress report, Improving Gypsy/Traveller Sites – Guidance on minimum sites standards, and site tenants’ core rights and responsibilities, published in May 2018 made it clear that whilst progress has been made there is a need for further improvement. 

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Progress so far on improving the lives of Scotland’s Gypsy Traveller communities
  • Next steps for meeting – and exceeding – the minimum sites standards
  • Using co-production to engage with and shape services for Scotland’s Gypsy Traveller communities
  • Supporting safe communities by tackling stigma
  • Innovative approaches to creating safe and secure homes for Scotland’s Gypsy Travellers

Who should attend?

The event will be of interest to housing officers, planning officers, environmental health professionals, traveller site managers and all those working to improve the lives of Scotland’s Gypsy Travellers.

Confirmed speakers

  • KEYNOTE: Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, Scottish Government
  • The Gypsy Traveller Youth Assembly, Article 12
  • Alan Seath, Owner, Alan Seath Planning Consultancy
  • Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive, PAS
  • George Walker, Chair, Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Callum Ogden, Project Manager (Gypsy/Traveller Carers' Project), MECOPP

 

Agenda

09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Opening remarks from the chair

Morag Alexander OBE, Chair, ELCAP; Co-Chair, Scottish Commission on Older Women; Former Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission; Former Director, Equal Opportunities Commission; Former Convener, SSSC

Session 1: Scotland’s Gypsy Traveller Communities’ Accommodation Needs

10:05 Scottish Government Address

Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, Scottish Government

10:15 Questions to the Minister

10:25 A home for the travellers

The Gypsy Traveller Youth Assembly, Article 12

11:10 Refreshments

Session 2: Shaping Home Around the People

11:25 Safeguarding and promoting the interests of Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland

George Walker, Chair, Scottish Housing Regulator

11:45 Facilitating community dialogue

Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive, PAS

12:05 Local authorities enhancing lives

12:25 Questions and discussions

12:40 Lunch

Session 3: A Positive Safe Future

13:30 Safe homes: addressing the stigma

Callum Ogden, Project Manager (Gypsy/Traveller Carers' Project), MECOPP

13:50 Designing and Planning for Inclusion: Challenges, Frustrations and Opportunities

  • The challenges created by planning policy
  • The frustrations with the lack of knowledge about the subject
  • The opportunities being created by the Scottish Government

Alan Seath, Owner, Seath Planning Consultancy Ltd.

14:10 Questions and discussion

14:25 Reflections on the future from the Gypsy Travellers

The Gypsy Traveller Youth Assembly, Article 12

14:35 Close of event

 

Venue

NASUWT, 35 Young Street N. Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | Map

Costs

Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, housing associations, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

Dates
23 October 2018

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