Gypsies and Travellers are ethnic minorities recognised by the Race Relations Amendment Act. Under the terms of the Act they have a right to a nomadic life style, to equal access to services such as education, health and accommodation and to protection from discrimination and harassment.
As a result of the problems that the Gypsy and Traveller community increasingly face the government has required all local authorities to carry out accommodation needs assessments for the community. This information is to be used to inform the Regional Spatial Strategy. This strategy sets out pitch numbers for each local authority.
In response to this requirement, in January 2006 the Local Authorities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, commissioned a consultant to carry out a sub-regional study of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers across the county and the Isle of Wight.
The report, which can be found at the bottom of this page, sets out the approximate number and type of pitches estimated to be needed over the next 5 years: i.e. to 2011. It makes recommendations about size and appropriate locations of sites, and site management.
Local Authorities in Hampshire, who commissioned the work have approved its findings and in October 2007 the report was submitted to the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) which produces the Regional Spatial Strategy (the South East Plan).
A similar survey of the accommodation needs of Travelling Show people was carried out in 2007 and will be available on this site when it has been approved by Local Authorities in Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire County Council and the Isle of Wight
In 2008, SEERA will carry out a public consultation on their proposals (set out in the Partial Review of the South East Plan) for the number of pitches for gypsies and travellers and for travelling show people to be provided in each local authority.