Haringey Travelling People's Team supply vital support to the Gypsy and Traveller residents in the borough, who are, in many cases, a highly vulnerable community. Residents rely on this team for a variety of essential services. These include services for Traveller Children and Family Joint Case Work, Vulnerable Adults Case Work, Education Support Work, Community Group Work, Youth Work and Welfare Rights Work. On accommodation issues the team play a key role in ensuring the cohesive and culturally appropriate management of the borough’s Traveller sites, engagement with unauthorised encampments and Traveller Housing Support. The team also provides support for Health Issues, Child Poverty Needs Assessments and support for Community Engagement and input into service provision.
The 2012 report by the ministerial working group on tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers states that ‘Gypsies and Travelers experience, and are being held back by, some of the worst outcomes of any group, across a wide range of social indicators.’ The HTPT play a critical role ensuring Haringey address the unacceptably poor social outcomes experienced by community members in the borough, as highlighted by the ministerial working group.
The HTPT also supports Haringey to adhere to its public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. As the council will be aware, the duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities. It follows that any significant change to the vital work carried out by the HTPT should include a full equality impact assessment done in consultation with the Gypsies, Roma and Travellers living in the borough.
We would like Haringey to note that we welcome a discussion – ideally through a formal consultation process – on the future provision of services to the boroughs large Roma community. Similar to the Gypsy and Traveller residents in the borough, the Roma also face high levels of social exclusion. We feel full consultations could also lead to cost savings and better use of limited resources.