Monday, 20 September 2010

Boris Johnson scraps targets for new gypsy pitches

Boris Johnson has scrapped all targets to provide new gypsy and traveller pitches across London.

Under the previous government the Mayor was obliged to draw up targets for new pitches for each borough.

This was deeply unpopular amongst some boroughs and one City Hall source memorably described them as a "political hand grenade."

However, in reality the targets were actually fairly modest, and even these low targets were reduced further earlier this year.

And now that the new government has scrapped Regional Spatial Strategies, he has now decided that no targets are needed at all.

The decision has been slipped out as a "minor alteration" to the London Plan.

Spelling out his reasoning for the alteration, the Mayor states that the targets had "proved problematic" and that it could "far more effectively [be] done locally."

Quite how this would create more provision for gypsies is not spelled out.

However, the news has been greeted with delight by Barnet's own Brian Coleman who told the BBC earlier this year that "itinerant" gypsies should "stay put in Ireland."

I guess at least with Brian Coleman he's not hiding his real motives.


Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

Thank you for publicising ths Adam.

FYI - here's what i wrote about it a while back:

Anonymous said...

Gypsies are the one group even left wing politicians won't stand up for because the prejudice against them has become so ingraned. The Mauyor of London has caved into this prejudice out of view of his own electoral gain, he should be asahmed!

Helen said...

Boris was brown-nosing the Pope last week to try to get the Catholic vote (53% Old Labour, according to IPSOS Mori)- does he not realise Irish Travellers are also Catholic?

Anonymous said...

In 2004, when he was Mayor, Ken Livingstone hosted a seminar with the Traveller Law Reform Coalition.

This was Coleman's response:

"This is exactly the kind of dotty conference in which Livingstone specialises. Most of the past few summers, outer London boroughs have been plagued by Irish travellers who have caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage. He has no grasp of the issues that Londoners really care about. Why he is holding this seminar I really don’t know, but I've got better things to do with my time." (Daily Telegraph, 19 March 2004)

Mrs Angry said...

Barnet has a disgraceful history of refusing to accommodate any gypsy or travelling people. It is the only outer London borough never to have had a single stopping place, even in the years when there was a statutory obligation to make such provision. Legal challenges to this failure have been obstructed by the immediate eviction of any gypsies who dared to stop in the borough in unofficial places, for lack of alternative. Matters have not been improved by local reports quoting the proposed number of sites as 22/16, causing uproar among the Daily Mail readers. Of course the number was only ever 22/16 places on one site, but such a mistake goes uncorrected by the scaremongers. Can you imagine if such bigotry was shown to any other ethnic group, that it would be tolerated? If you want to know more read:

AdamB said...

There has been a lot of (deliberate?) misinformation on this subject. No doubt Barnet have not been quick to correct any misconceptions.

Anonymous said...

This may be the future for London because many people will be without homes when the Housing Benefit Cutbacks come into force. Soon it will not just be Gypsies that will be living in Caravans and having to find plots of land to set up home.