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MSPs seek evidence on accommodation for travelling people

29 March 2012

The reality of life for gypsy/travelling people is to be examined by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee as part of an inquiry into accommodation.

MSPs on the committee will hear evidence of experiences in finding and living on sites and about how these sites are run, and the impact that living on a site can have in accessing services such as schools and health care.

The committee will visit sites across Scotland later in the year to see first-hand the problems faced by the gypsy/traveller community.

In an effort to reach as many people as possible, committee convener Mary Fee MSP has also recorded a video call for evidence – a first for a Scottish Parliament committee. The video and a link to a leaflet explaining more about the inquiry will be made available on the Parliament’s website.

Ms Fee said: “In 2001, our predecessor Equal Opportunities Committee held an inquiry looking into all aspects of gypsy/traveller life. Although the report contained many recommendations, we know there are still many issues.

“We’re aware that where gypsy/travellers live can often cause problems that other people may not have to face. Because there are such a range of experiences, we’re keen to hear not only from the people who provide services to gypsy/travellers, but also from gypsy/travellers themselves.

“By looking into, amongst other things, what it is like to find and live on a site, we hope that we can see what more needs to be done to ensure that there are no barriers to gypsy/travellers accessing the services to which we are all entitled.”

The closing date for submissions is 13 July 2012.


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Ken MacLennan

Monday April 16, 2012, 15:09

A recommendation of the Equal Opportunities Committee Inquiry in to Gypsy Travellers in 2001 was that capitalisation should be used when writing about these communities. Scottish Gypsy Travellers are now recognised as an ethnic minority group in law as are those communities from England and Ireland. I find it disrespectful and in my opinion racist to use lower case when writing about these ethnic minority communities. Would you therefore consider using capitals in the future. Thanks

[Noted, thank you - Editor.]