Consultation launched on Traveller communities in Cornwall

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Councillor Carol Mould said the council are committed to "transforming Gypsy and Traveller provision in Cornwall"

Cornwall Council has launched a 12-week consultation on how to support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the county.

Residents, businesses and organisations have been asked for their views on a draft strategy about the groups.

The strategy will cover a five-year period and focus on topics like homes and equality of opportunity.

Charity TravellerSpace, which supports Gypsies and Travellers said they were actively supporting the strategy.

Councillor Carol Mould said the council were committed to "transforming Gypsy and Traveller provision in Cornwall".

Ms Mould said: "The Council has a legal duty to ensure that Cornwall's Gypsy, Roma and Traveller residents have equal access to services and facilities and are treated in the same way as the wider population."

"We want everyone to feel safe and a part of their local community and are committed to addressing these inequalities by transforming Gypsy and Traveller provision in Cornwall.

"This means working with partners to improve the lives and homes of local Traveller communities and provide better outcomes."

'Hate speech'

A national survey carried out by Traveller Movement found that 91% of respondents had experienced discrimination and 77% had experienced hate speech or a hate crime.

According to census data, about 80% of those that identify as Gypsy or Irish Traveller and Roma in Cornwall live in bricks and mortar types of homes, while 20% live in a caravan or other mobile or temporary structure.

Cornwall Housing currently manages three residential Gypsy and Traveller sites at Boscarn Parc, Wheal Jewel and Foredown Parc.

It also manages the South Treviddo transit site, as well as providing a range of other Gypsy, Roma and Traveller services.

'Make voices heard'

Charity TravellerSpace, which supports Gypsies and Travellers in Cornwall & Devon, said they were pleased to actively support the strategy.

The charity said: "Cornwall Council has recognised the particular barriers faced by many in Cornwall's Gypsy and Traveller communities when accessing employment, health, social care, housing, education and other public services.

"TravellerSpace encourages all Cornwall's Gypsies and Travellers to make sure their voices are heard in this strategy. If anyone needs help accessing and filling in the consultation on the Council's website please get in touch."

All feedback from the survey will be used to shape the final strategy which is due to be considered by the Council's Cabinet in July.

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