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Gypsies and Travellers

Introduction

There are around 16,000 Gypsy & Traveller caravans in England. Around three quarters of these caravans are on ‘authorised’ sites. Many of these sites are well-managed and are an accepted part of the local community.

In 1994 the duty on local authorities was removed and since then under-provision has resulted in Gypsies and Travellers camping on land that they do not own, known as ‘unauthorised encampments’.

In recent years Bedford has seen an increase in the number of Gypsy and Traveller families that have entered the Borough, who stay on green areas, parks and other places of interest. Such unauthorised encampments can have a dramatic impact on the day-to-day lives of our local residents and neighbours.

On the 1st of January 2009, a Gypsy & Traveller Liaison Officer (GTLO) was appointed, as part of a ten point plan to reduce unauthorised encampments within the Borough.

 

Bedford Borough Gypsy & Traveller Liaison Officer

Working as a member of the Housing Team, the GTLO has a number of priorities and functions, providing an essential service not only to the citizens of Bedford, but also the families of the settled Gypsy & Traveller communities.

When an unauthorised encampment is established, the GTLO will carry out a tactical assessment of the situation, liaise with partner agencies and will notify our neighbours of the encampment. Updates will also be given when a situation changes.

In terms of other duties, the GTLO has the overall responsibility for the management function of the Bedford Borough Council owned; Kempston Hardwick and Willow Drift Caravan Sites.

Bedford Borough Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer contact details:
Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer
Bedford Borough Council

Borough Hall,

Cauldwell Street,

Bedford,

MK42 9AP

Tel: 01234 276225

 

Bedford Borough Council Complaints Procedures

To make a complaint please follow the link below to the Bedford Borough Council Complaints Procedures page and follow the instructions.

BBC Complaints Procedures

 

Gypsy and Travellers Rights 2008

To view the document on Gypsy and Traveller rights, please click on the link below:

Gypsy and Travellers Rights 2008

 

Frequently Asked Questions on Unauthorised Encampments

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Unauthorised Encampments please click on the link below to access this document. Please note the FAQ's section of this document is currently undergoing updates.

The flow chart outlines the process Bedford Borough Council undergoes on being alerted of an Unauthorised Encampment.

Please note this document may be revised after the Gypsy and Traveller Operational Policy has been consulted on, see above.

 

To access the Unauthorised Encampments procedure, please click on the link to the document below.

Unauthorised Encampments Procedure

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Document currently undergoing updates.

 

To access just the summary of the process, please click on the link to the flow chart:

Flow chart

 

Bedford Borough Gypsy and Traveller Management Policy

The policy on unauthorised encampments is contained within the Bedford Borough Gypsy and Traveller Management Policy. The full document can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Gypsy and Traveller Management Policy

 

Bedford Borough Council Gypsies and Travellers Caravan sites

Kempston Hardwick Caravan Site details:

Weekly rent for the Kempston Hardwick Caravan site is £80.50 per pitch.  There are 22 pitches on site. The site has full amenities.

Kempston Hardwick Caravan Site address:

Ampthill Road

Kempston Hardwick

Bedford

MK45 3NJ

 

Willow Drift Caravan Site details:

Weekly rent for the Willow Drift Caravan site is £80.50 per pitch.  There are 14 pitches on site. The site has full amenities.

Willow Drift Caravan Site address:

Meadow Lane

Cardington

Bedford

MK44 3SB

 

Application form for Permanent Caravan Sites

To apply for a permanent caravan site, please complete the attached form. It can be filled in on line and emailed to the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer, details above. Or print it off, fill it in and post it to the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer at the address above.

The form can also be hand delivered to Borough Hall or the office at the Kempston Hardwick site. Alternatively if you are unable to do this, please call the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer and he will post a form to you.

Application form for a Permanent Caravan Site

 

Mobile Homes Act

To view a copy of the Mobile Homes Act, please click on the link below:

Mobile Homes Act 1983

In the Matter of the Mobile Homes Act 1983

Mobile Homes Act 1983 Tenancy Agreement

 

Fire Safety in Caravans

Did you know that on average 500 fires per year occur in caravans?

To access the information leaflet on keeping your family safe from fire, please click on the following link:

Fire Safety for Gypsies and Travellers

For more information on general fire safety visit www.facebook.com/firekills

 

Planning for Traveller Sites

For information about planing for traveller sites please click here.

 

 

Other Organisations and Departments within Bedford Borough Council that may be of use:

National Association of Gypsy and Traveller Officers

For information on the National Association of Gypsy and Traveller Officers, please click on the link below:

NAGTO web site

 

POhWER

POhWER is a charity and membership organisation, which provides information, advice, support and advocacy to people who experience disability, vulnerability, distress and social exclusion.

Their services are designed by service users for service users. Last year they provided direct advocacy to over 16,000 people and handled 120,000 contacts for information and advice. Over 35,000 self help materials were downloaded from their website.

POhWER is one of the largest providers of advocacy services in the UK and England's largest provider of NHS Complaints Advocacy.

To go to the POhWER web site, please click on the link below:

POhWER web site

 

Environmental Services

Bedford’s environment services include street care, waste management, sustainability, planning, historic buildings, tree management, landscape and nature conservation, environmental health and trading standards, as well as recreation in the countryside.

To view the Environment & Sustainability Communities Enforcement Policy, please click on the link below:

Environment & Sustainability Communities Enforcement Policy

 

To access the Bedford Borough Council environment services web pages, please click on the link below:

Bedford Borough Council Environment and Planning web pages

 

Pear Tree Children's Centre

Covering Kempston South & Wootton wards

Balliol Lower School, Balliol Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7ER

Tel: (01234) 303457
Email: peartreechildrenscentre@4children.org.uk

 

Don't Miss

Housing

This section provides helpful housing advice for people interested in and currently living in the borough. You can find information on private and social housing, related support services and homelessness.

 


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