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EU-ROMA London Mapping INTERIM REPORT : September 2008

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

1


TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

3

1. CHARACTERISATION & FIRST PRINCIPLES

4

2. DESIGNATED SITE ANALYSIS

5

5 11 13 16

2.1 LONDON STATISTICS 2.2 POLICY HISTORY OF LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES 2.3 GOVERNMENT DESIGN GUIDANCE 2.4 COMPARATIVE SITE ANALYSIS

3. POLISH ROMA IN THE UK: CASE STUDY

31

3.1 INTRODUCTION 3.2 DESIGN 3.3 EXHIBITION CONTENT 3.4 TRAVELLING

31 31 32 37

4. NEXT STEPS

38

4.1 INTRODUCTION 4.2 ROMA IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING 4.3 ROMA IN LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES

38 38 38

BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED

39

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

2


INTRODUCTION Determining the nature of Roma living conditions in London involves discarding prejudices and easy references. It involves going beyond official statistics, and going beyond the specific group of people identified as ‘Roma’ in UK census information. In compiling this document, the London section of the Eu-RoMa project has endeavoured to do just this, through extensive historical research combined with an action-research model which engaged with the work of the Roma Support Group (based in East London) and with the UK-wide Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, which occurred in June 2008. The following report is not exhaustive but does provides a picture of our findings in the hope of communicating the subtleties of Roma existence in London to our European partners. It is an interim report which provides indication of our next phase of research.

EU-ROMA London Mapping

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1. CHARACTERISATION & FIRST PRINCIPLES In 2003, the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham produced a report, ‘Local Authority Gypsy/Traveller Sites in England’ for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This report includes useful definitions to help us identify the present situation in clearer terms. The report highlights the discrepancy between the legal definition of a ‘gypsy’ (“persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin”) and the ethnic definition, which was accepted in UK law in 1989. The legal definition can encompass any individual or group which chooses a nomadic existence, such as counter-culture ‘new age travellers’, whilst the ethnic definition aims to define a specific ethnic group. Given a wide variety of migrations to the UK of people defining themselves ethnically as ‘gypsy/romany’ since as early as 1500AD, this leaves plenty of room for misunderstanding, and therefore for prejudice. The situation is complicated further by settled, i.e. non-nomadic ethnic gypsies, often being differentiated from nomadic peoples within their own social structures. The 2003 ODPM report above notes that “Gypsies and Travellers have also been objects of fantasy and romance (often contradictory, for example the romance of life in horse-drawn caravans versus the one-time belief that Gypsies would steal babies or put a curse on members of the settled community). There is still considerable ignorance on the part of the settled community about Gypsies and other Travellers, who they are and how they live. One response to lack of knowledge is resort to stereotypes, and a failure to identify the individual from the supposed behaviour of the group as a whole.” Furthermore, “Over the years, Gypsies have inter-married with local populations to the extent that some writers consider self-ascription (and acceptance by others in the group) as significant as claims to ‘racial purity’ in defining ‘ethnic Gypsies’ (Okely 1983). Okely is particularly critical of the quest to identify the ‘true Gypsy’ in an ethnic sense. In England now ethnic Gypsies include English Romany Gypsies and members of the Welsh Kale and Scottish Traveller groups.” Therefore we can conclude that any research into the specifics of Roma housing in London and the UK must incorporate an understanding of the above subtleties: contradictory legal and ethnic definitions, and the discrepancy between government definitions and those deriving from within the community. The housing conditions experienced by Roma people in London and the UK cannot be considered solely in isolation from ‘the rest of us’ – analysis of their particular character must draw upon wider forms of housing and lifestyle, neither of which are restricted to the Roma people. Our research has therefore been divided into discrete strands: 1. DESIGNATED SITE ANALYSIS (Section 2 of this report) Based upon government legal definitions of gypsy/travellers, a presentation of local authority sites and distributions across the London area. This information incorporates data for all travellers, ethnic gypsies, irish travellers, and those who choose a nomadic lifestyle. Includes a brief characterisation of the domestic environments associated with such sites. 2. POLISH ROMA REFUGEES: CASE STUDY (Section 3 of this report) Based upon ethnic definitions of the Roma. We made contact with the Roma Support Group, a community organisation working with East European Roma refugees and migrants since 1998. Through this contact we assisted the RSG to produce an exhibition about their work, and about their clients’ lives, for Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month. An intimate portrait has been built up about this particular group- not only for the purposes of this report but also for wider public dissemination in the UK and beyond. EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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2. DESIGNATED SITE ANALYSIS 2.1 LONDON STATISTICS Out of a population of 7 million Londoners, 491 people identified themselves as ‘Gypsy/Romany’ in the last UK census of April 2001, whilst 497 people identified themselves as ‘Irish Traveller’ and 97 as ‘Traveller’. CL City of London

En Hr1 Re1

WF1

Ba Hg2 Hg

Hr

Re

WF

Hg1

Hv Br Ca

Br1 Hi

Ha2 Ha

Is

Ca3 Ca1 Ca2

K&C1

So3 So1So2 So4

K&C H&F Ho La

Wa

Ri

B&D N

TH

CL

CW

Hi1 Ho1

Ha1 N1 TH1

Ea1

Ea

B&D1

Gr1

Le1

Gr Be

So Le

Wa1 Ri1

M1

Bro1

K K1

Be1 Bro2

La1

M

Cr1

Bro

Su Cr

B&D London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Ba London Borough of Barnet Given the (frequently Be London misguided) Borough of Bexleygeneral Br London Borough of Brent conception of ‘gypsy/romany’ people as Bro London Borough of Bromley Ca gives London Boroughof of 1085 Camdentravelling nomadic, this a total Cr London Borough of Croydon people in London. Ea London Borough of Ealing En London Borough of Enfield Gr London Borough of Greenwich A ‘pitch’ is identified the ODPM Hac Londonin Borough of Hackney2003 H&F London Borough of Hammersmith &Sites Fulham report ‘Local Authority Gypsy/Traveller Hg London Borough of Haringey in England’ Hr as anLondon “area of land on a Gypsy/ Borough of Harrow Hv rented Londonunder Borough licence of Haveringto a single Traveller site Hi London Borough of Hillingdon resident.” Such pitches are of contained within Ho London Borough Hounslow London Borough of Islington ‘sites’ whichIsK&C are Royal areas of land identified in Borough of Kensington & Chelsea local authority planning documentation which K Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames La London Borough of Lambeth are rented to ‘gypsy/traveller’ people so as to Le London Borough of Lewisham M London of Merton provide a location for borough a caravan or mobile home, N London Borough of Newham alongside some sanitary facilities. Re London Borough of Redbridge Ri London Borough of Richmond upon Thames So London Borough of Southwark Su London Borough of Sutton TH London Borough of Tower Hamlets WF London Borough of Waltham Forest Wa London Borough of Wandsworth CW City of Westminster

As of 2007, the DCLG determined that there are 637 Local Authority or socially-rented pitches in the London area. These are distributed as shown left.

Su1

DIAGRAM 1: Locations and propotional scale and capacity of London local authority sites. EU-ROMA London Mapping

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5


LB CODE CL B&D Ba Be Br Bro

LB CITY OF LONDON BARKING & DAGENHAM BARNET BEXLEY BRENT BROMLEY

Ca

CAMDEN

Cr Ea En Gr Ha

CROYDON EALING ENFIELD GREENWICH HACKNEY

H&F Hg

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM HARINGEY

Hr Hv Hi Ho Is K&C K La Le M N Re Ri So

HARROW HAVERING HILLINGDON HOUNSLOW ISLINGTON KENSINGTON & CHELSEA KINGSTON UPON THAMES LAMBETH LEWISHAM MERTON NEWHAM REDBRIDGE RICHMOND UPON THAMES SOUTHWARK

Su TH WF Wa CW

SUTTON TOWER HAMLETS WALTHAM FOREST WANDSWORTH WESTMINSTER

SITE CODE SITE B&D1 Eastbrookend Dagenham Road Rush Green Romford RM7 0SS Be1 Br1 Bro1 Bro21 Ca1 Ca2 Ca3 Cr1 Ea1

Powerscroft Road Foots Cray Sidcup DA14 5DT Lynton Closeoff Great Central Way Neasden London NW10 0JE Star Lane Caravan Site Star Lane Orpington BR5 3LW Old Maidstone Road Caravan Site Old Maidstone Road Sidcup. Kent DA14 5AY 96 Castlehaven Road London. NW1 9PU 96 Castlehaven Road London. NW1 8PU 105 Camden Street London. NW1 OHS 105 Camden Street London. NW1 OHS Dalby Street Dalby Street London. NW1 Lathams Way Travellers Site Lathams Way Off Beddington Road Croydon CRO 4XP Bashley Road NW10 6TH

Gr1 Ha1 Ha2

Thistlebrook Manor Way Abbey Wood London SE2 9SQ Waterden Crescent 46/48 Waterden Road London E15 2EQ. Abbey Close Travellers Site Abbey Close 1/7 Rendlesham Road London E58PA

Hg1 Hg2 Hr1

Clyde road caravan site 116a - d Clyde road Tottenham London N15 Wallman Place Caravan Site 1-6 Wallman Place Wood Green London N22 Watling Farm Watling Farm Close Stanmore Middx HA7 4UY

Hi1 Ho1

Colne Park Caravan Site Cricketfield Road West Drayton Middlesex The Hartlands Church Road Cranford

K&C1 K1 La1 Le1 M1 N1 Re1 Ri1 So1 So2 So3 So4 Su1 TH1 WF1 Wa1

Westway Travellers Site Stable Way Latimer Road W10 6QX Swallow Park 172 Hook Rise North Tolworth Surrey Lonesome Depot Leonard Road SW16 5TA Thurston Road Travellers Site 14 - 29 Thurston Road Lewisham SE13 Brickfield Road Wimbledon London SW19 8UJ Clays Lane Stratford E15 2HJ Northview Caravan Site Forest Road Hainault Essex. IG6 3HW Bishopsgrove Travellers Site Hampton TW12 1AP Brideale Close Glengall Road Peckham London SE15 Burnhill Close 1- 6 Burnhill Close Leo Street Peckham SE15 Ilderton Road 21 - 49 Ilderton Road Rotherhithe London SE16 3JU Springtide Close 1 -5 Stafforshire Street London Peckham SE15 The Pastures 80 Carshalton Road Banstead Surrey SM7 3DX Eleanor Street Bow London E3 4NP Peacocks Close Folly Lane Chingford E4 8TX (was Folly Lane) Trewint Street Caravan Site Trewint Street London SW18 4HD

Pitches Caravans Opened? Last ch.? 0 0 11 15 1972 2004 0 0 10 1979 2001 31 1997 22 28 1970 2003 12 16 1990 1 1 1995 4 8 1994 0 0 1995 15 15 1988 24 48 1986 0 0 38 60 1972 1996 20 40 1993 7 8 1996 2003 0 0 4 8 1985 1995 6 12 1986 1996 38 0 1975 2000 0 0 20 1980 2007 20 20 1970 2005 0 0 20 20 1975 2004 15 15 1976 15 32 1972 4 4 1975 15 18 1972 1996 13 16 1988 17 17 1968 2002 18 30 1972 13 16 1993 2006 6 6 1995 15 20 1986 2000 5 6 1995 15 34 1993 19 34 1983 2002 17 34 1985 2006 12 12 1974 2003 0 0

TABLE 1: Local Authority Sites in London: Site codes relate to diagram on page 6

N.b. since this data was gathered the Newham site has moved from Clays Lane E15 to Parkway Crescent E15 EU-ROMA London Mapping

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[above] London Borough of Newham traveller site, E15

City of Westminster Wandsworth Waltham Forest Tower Hamlets Sutton Southwark Richmond upon Thames Redbridge Newham Merton Lewisham Lambeth Kingston upon Thames Kensington & Chelsea Islington Hounslow Hillingdon Havering Harrow Haringey Hammersmith and Fulham Hackney Greenwich Enfield Ealing Croydon Camden Bromley Brent Bexley Barnet Barking and Dagenham City of London

1

2

3

4

DIAGRAM 2: Number of local authority traveller sites per local authority

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Such ‘sites’ are not restricted to those under local authority management. As of 2007, there were 806 total pitches in London, meaning that 79% were LA-managed.

169 NON-LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES (21%)

637 LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES (79%)

DIAGRAM 3: Percentage of traveller sites in London under local authority management

84% of gypsy/traveller sites are authorised developments, including LA sites. 131 sites, 16%, are unauthorised. These include caravans on the travellers’ own land and caravans not on travellers’ own land.

UNAUTHORISED SITES 16%

AUTHORISED SITES 84%

DIAGRAM 4: Percentage of traveller sites in London ‘authorised’ by local government

EU-ROMA London Mapping

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Out of the authorised sites, 9% were in private ownership in 2005 compared to 4.7% in 2007, suggesting that whilst populations have not increased significantly, there has been a general shift from private sites to LA ones. 100%

In 2005, 11% of unauthorised sites on travellers’ own land were tolerated; in 2007 this had risen to 24%. Conversely, in 2005, 50% of unauthorised sites on other peoples’ land were tolerated; in 2007 this had descreased to 31%.

60%

100%

London sites in public ownership 50%

50%

London sites in private ownership 40%

London sites in public ownership

tolerated on other land

30%

50%

10%

London sites in private ownership

0%

2005

2007

tolerated on own land 20%

10%

10%

0%

0%

2005

2007

DIAGRAM 5: Traveller Sites in Public and Private Ownership in 2005 and 2007

2005

2007

DIAGRAM 6: Toleration of traveller sites on authorised and unauthorised land in 2005 and 2007.

EU-ROMA London Mapping

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74% of London’s supposedly travelling population are accounted for by these statistics. If we remove the gypsy/romany ethnic group, 135% are catered for.

?

We can suppose therefore that not all members of the Gypsy/Roma ethnic group in London occupy caravans or LA sites.

TRAVELLING COMMUNITY ACCOUNTED FOR BY STATISTICS 74%

DIAGRAM 7: Travelling community of London accounted for by local authority statistics

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2.2 POLICY HISTORY OF LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES This research is primarily derived from ODPM2003. In modern legislative terms, the current situation can be seen to have begun with the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. This act “required that land used as a caravan site have both planning permission for that use and a caravan site licence with conditions determining basic standards of amenity, spacing and safety.” ‘The effect of the controls, although not specifically directed against them, was that in large numbers of cases Gypsies were unable to find legitimate homes for themselves and their families’ (Gordon 1985:150). ‘Nomadic caravan dwellers’ were accounted for in this act: “Section 24(4) stated that services and facilities provided under the section may be made available to those who do not normally reside in the area as well as those who do, thus allowing provision for nomadic caravan dwellers including Gypsies. Section 24 introduced a power, but no duty to provide sites.” However, later research in 1967 suggested that the number of families living in caravans and tents in the UK had been significantly underestimated, and few local authorities had used their powers to provide sites for gypsy people. Most families in caravans and tents continued to be based in “unathorised camps”.

[above] View of shared space in the London Borough of Greenwich’s traveller site

This changed in 1970 with the adoption of the Caravan Sites Act 1968. This act “imposed a duty on county councils and London Borough to provide adequate accommodation for Gypsies residing in or resorting to their area by exercising their powers under s24 of the 1960 Act. County councils were to determine what sites were to be provided and to acquire the necessary land. District councils were to exercise all other necessary powers to establish sites. District councils were to manage the sites, with the county council responsible for any financial deficit having set the charges. London Boroughs and county boroughs were only required to provide for 15 caravans to fulfil their duty.” ODPM statistics, used by EuRoMa in this research, confirm that a large proportion of London Borough sites continue to offer space for around 15-20 pitches, possibly a long term outcome of the 1968 act. The rise of authorised sites after this time was paralleled by enhanced powers to tackle “unauthorised camping by making it a criminal offence to park a caravan with the purpose of residing in it other than on an authorised site”. “The Minister (later Secretary of State) could, at any time, give directions to a local authority requiring it to provide additional sites for a specified number of caravans. Directions were used very rarely.” EU-ROMA London Mapping

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The ambitions of the 1968 Act were repealed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The duty of a council or London Borough to provide sites was therefore removed, though councils remained free to provide sites if they so wished. At the same time, enhanced powers were introduced for local authorities and the police “to tackle unauthorised camping.” As noted by ODPM2003, “The rationale for removing the duty… is somewhat paradoxical.” The number of caravans had risen dramatically over the years, and site provision was not keeping pace, though the government of the time considered that “there is no reason why this need should automatically be met by public provision, nor any reason why gypsies – once settled – should remain on public sites indefinitely.” A Department of the Environment paper on the situation produced in 1992 suggested that with the changing industrial and economic nature of the UK, there was “less need to move from place to place… So, while traveller families retain a yearning to travel the open road, many have settled on permanenet sites and a few have moved into permanent housing.”

[above] horse grazing on open land in Thamesmead, adjacent to Greenwich’s traveller site.

Until recently, the only government guidance available on Gypsy site design and management was very old. A site design guide was issued in 1979 in hand-written format (DoE 1979), and site management guidance in 1982 (DoE 1982). Model standards relating to residential and holiday caravan sites through the site licensing system are not applicable to Gypsy/Traveller sites. There was no formal statement of expected minimum standards for Gypsy/Traveller sites until the circulation of a draft consultation paper from the DCLG named ‘Draft Guidance on the Design of Sites for Gypsies & Travellers” in May 2007. Writing in the Guardian of 16.09.2008, Louise Doughty notes: “The site provision crisis in this country can be traced directly back to 1994, when John Major’s government abolished the Caravan Sites Act, which obliged local authorities to provide adequate sites for Travellers. At the time, Romanies and Travellers were urged to buy their own land to settle. Many duly did, only to find themselves refused planning permission to park their trailers on land that they legally owned.” As noted by ODPM2003, “local authority Gypsy/Traveller sites are the product of past rather than current legislation and funding regimes.” The continuing role of Local Authority sites within London (indeed across the UK) can be seen as a ‘path of least resistance’ solution. 7 out of 33 London Boroughs do not provide sites for gypsies/travellers, including the City of London and City of Westminster. Despite a lack of pressure from central government sites, the majority of London boroughs can therefore be seen to be continuing to provide and maintain them.

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2.3 GOVERNMENT DESIGN GUIDANCE The 2007 document ‘Draft Guidance on the Design of Sites for Gypsies & Travellers” (DCLG) gives some key standards for the provision of local authority sites for gypsies and travellers. Beyond general recommendations regarding user group consultation and general good practice, the document makes some specific design recommendations. The list of bullet points below gives an indication of some key standards. • Smaller sites of between 6-12 pitches are most popular with Gypsies and Travellers and are reported to be easier to manage. Sites should not normally exceed 20 pitches in capacity unless there is clear evidence to suggest that a larger site is preferred by the local Gypsy or Traveller community, or that this recommendation would severely limit the potential to meet local needs. • Where a larger site is unavoidable, then steps could be taken to create small ‘closes’ within the site for extended families thereby retaining the sense of community and creating defensible space. • The site boundary must provide clear demarcation of the perimeter of the site, so as to prevent the scope for site “expansion” through unauthorised encampments. Boundaries must take into account adjoining land uses, and be designed with the safety and protection of children in mind. • There must be a clear gap of 3 metres within the inside of all site boundaries as a fire prevention measure, unless a risk assessment has determined that alternative arrangements can achieve an adequate level of safety. • As with housing for the settled community, site layout and design must ensure a degree of privacy for individual households (for instance by ensuring that neighbours cannot directly overlook each other’s living quarters), but without inhibiting the important sense of community. • Consultation has shown that many Gypsies and Travellers prefer a circular or horseshoe design rather than linear layout of pitches. Other reportedly successful layouts include a branch design. • Pitches should be designed to enable the easy manoeuvrability of trailers up to 20 metres onto them. • Consultation has shown that site layout can play an important role in avoiding a sense of enclosure and isolation amongst Gypsies and Travellers. The aim should be to ‘design out’ crime and social exclusion and ‘design in’ community safety and social inclusion through openness of design, allowing ease in passing through, whether walking or driving.

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• To avoid disputes and provide defensible space, it is important toprovide clear delineation of public and private space, and boundaries that indicate where individual pitches begin and end. • It is recommended that local needs and preferences are taken into account, as well as the requirements of the local highways authority, when designing the entrance to the site. Many Gypsies and Travellers are in favour of controlled access to sites, for example using a lockable gate. Their experience has been that such controls can prevent unauthorised parking and unauthorised caravans being pitched on the site. However, the presence of such gates can sometimes act as a psychological barrier to effective social inclusion. • Many Gypsies and Travellers express a strong preference for soft landscaping (for example grassed areas, shrubs and trees) as opposed to hard landscaping such as paved or concreted areas. However, when designing to include soft landscaping, consideration needs to be given to preventing this from being used for unauthorised parking or unauthorised pitching of caravans. • To ensure fire safety, every trailer, caravan or park home must be not less than 6 metres from any other trailer, caravan or park home that is occupied separately. • Where significant commercial or other work activity is envisaged for a site (for instance the storage and maintenance of fairground equipment), the site must be delineated so that residential areas are separated from areas for commercial or work use. This also applies to the inclusion of space for keeping animals. • Site and pitch addresses must be created which are of a similar nature to those for the settled community – for instance by not highlighting that the accommodation is site based. • Arrangements must be made so that post can be delivered separately for each pitch. • Pitches must be capable of accommodating an amenity unit, large trailer, touring caravan, drying space for clothes, lockable shed (for bikes, wheelchair storage etc) and parking space for two vehicles. • In common with some other ethnic minority communities, some Gypsies and Travellers often have larger than average families, for instance where members of an extended family live together. For this reason there is likely to be much greater demand amongst these communities for large family units, and small pitches may become quickly overcrowded. Larger than average family sizes, alongside the need for vehicles for towing caravans and for employment also creates particular requirements for parking

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• There must be an amenity building on each pitch. This must include, as a minimum: hot and cold water supply; electricity supply; a separate toilet; a bath/shower room; a kitchen and dining area. The access to the toilet should be through a lobbied area. The amenity building must include: secure storage space for harmful substances/medicines; enclosed storage for food, brooms, washing, cleaning items etc; and space for connection of cooker, fridge/freezer and washing machine. The inclusion of a day/living room in the amenity unit is recommended. The day/living room could be combined with the kitchen area to provide a kitchen/ dining/lounge area. It is desirable that the day/living room should not be part of essential circulation space, nor contain essential storage.

SUMMARY ANALYSIS OF DESIGN GUIDANCE These new recommendations can generally seen to be a positive influence over the design of sites, though the current lack of a evaluation or similar processes makes their influence hard to measure. A theme of several guidance items is their preference for informally grouped or clustered sites, as opposed to the linear sites that might be considered most efficient spatially and which frequently seem to be employed in sites such as those described in the Italy Eu-RoMa report. Though this arrangement is described as a result of community consultation, it is also a similar structure to the suburban estate or close. Provisions are put in place for divisions between public and private, between site and non-site, and between pitches in order to maintain the privacy of individual residents. Such guidelines are broadly equivalent to both national and local government guidelines for affordable housing, for example Housing Quality Indicators. Applying such guidelines seems a sensible proposition, but does not appear to have considered the far less formal housing arrangements that site residents may be used to. Further investigation of this situation may be worthwhile. Hard landscaping is encouraged as a means of preventing unauthorised pitching. Hard landscaping is also recommended in ‘Secured by Design’ general housing guidance as a way of avoiding hiding places for potential criminals. In both cases concrete, tarmac or paved areas are a means of pasively preventing unauthorised behaviour. Care is taken to ensure that such sites do not allow for future unauthorised expansion. This has both positive and negative consequences. It is obviously sensible to ensure that, once established, sites do not spread without authorisation. However in practice, such as at Clays Lane, the Stratford traveller site, which is a predetermined site with tall boundary walls, the effect can be of a confined and compacted set of dwellings. This can be problematic, particularly in contexts where there is not a high degree of surrounding development or density.

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2.4 COMPARATIVE SITE ANALYSIS

NORTH EAST NORTH WEST CENTRAL

WEST

TOWER HAMLETS

NEWHAM

GREENWICH

SOUTH WEST

SOUTH EAST

Three local authorities (London Boroughs) have been chosen for the purposes of comparative site analysis: London Borough of Tower Hamlets London Borough of Newham London Borough of Greenwich All to the east of the centre of London, these boroughs range from adjacency to London’s ‘central activity zone’ towards its suburban edges.

DIAGRAM 8: The three selected London boroughs in context EU-ROMA London Mapping

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CLAYS LANE, STRATFORD

TOWER HAMLETS

NEWHAM ELEANOR STREET, BOW

THISTLEBROOK, MANOR WAY, ABBEY WOOD

GREENWICH Each of these three boroughs has a single LA traveller site: shown here in orange. Newham’s site in Clays Lane, Stratford, will be moving as a result of the London Olympic Games to a new site roughly 400m to the east: this new site is shown in fainter orange.

DIAGRAM 9: The three selected London boroughs: LA Sites

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The London Plan, which is a city-wide planning document for London, defines various levels of ‘centre’: places which are hubs of commerce, public life and transport intechange.

STRATFORD TOWN CENTRE EAST HAM

TOWER HAMLETS

NEWHAM

Analysis of these centres allows an understanding of a location’s proximity to essential services and to the wider life of London. None of these three boroughs has any of the two most significant centres: ‘international’ or ‘metropolitan’. Large grey dots indicate ‘major’ centres. Small grey dots indicate ‘district’ centres.

CANARY WHARF

As already noted, the orange areas indicate LA traveller sites, one for each borough.

WOOLWICH

This mapping suggests that the LA traveller sites in Tower Hamlets and Newham are well-located in relation to local services, commercial hubs and public transport, whereas the site in Greenwich is less well served.

GREENWICH

ELTHAM

DIAGRAM 10: The three selected London boroughs: LA Sites in relation to major and district centres EU-ROMA London Mapping

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CLAYS LANE, STRATFORD E15 (1988-2007) PARKWAY CRESCENT, STRATFORD E15 (2007-) LONDON BOROUGH OF NEWHAM

Total Number of Pitches: 13, 100% permanent, 100% of borough complement Site Character: Clays Lane was made up of a small and informally distributed collection of temporary and permanent dwellings, arranged into clusters as recommended by DCLG. The new site at Parkway Crescent is more formalised into a straight road with pitches on either side. Adjacencies, Local Area: The prior site was uncomfortably isolated, and situated alongside student accomodation and a housing co-operative, plus major roads, railway and industry. The new site is more integrated with the residential buildings of Leyton but has occupied a former park, leading to some tensions with the local community. Both sites are fairly close to Leyton and Stratford urban centres, with much transport infrastructure.

CLAYS LANE

FOREST GATE

Status: The Clays Lane site has been transferred to Parkway Crescent, an adjacent site 200 metres east, to make way for the London 2012 Olympic Park.

UPTON PARK STRATFORD

The foreman on the Olympic building site redirected us back 200m to a red brick walled community called Parkway Crescent E15, just off Leyton Road.

EAST HAM

NEWHAM

CANNING TOWN

The No Entry sign was in fact the exit for vehicles in a small one-way street controlled by road grippers. There was a mixture of small neat red brick identical bungalows opening onto a shared patio with room for 2 caravans, garden furniture and dog kennels. There were full amenities and each house was neatly fenced off the street with customised fixtures many from Romany symbolism. Parking was a problem for the large vans for gardening, recycling metal, electrical goods and wooden fittings. EAST BECKTON

We exchanged friendly greetings with neighbours who said they had been living there for one year now, and we were advised to meet Tracey. Tracey was a young woman in her 30’s who sadly was not to be able to talk because she was too exhausted from giving interviews, she had been overwhelmed by journalists and suggested we go to the website. From the busy main road, Parkway Crescent was neatly walled in and the LA had landscaped the surroundings, planting trees, shrubs etc. The impression was that the wall created a sense of security for the community inside, blocking out the noise, pollution and grime from the surrounding main road and dishevelled Victorian houses.

PARKWAY CRESCENT (shown before the change to a traveller site)

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

19


CONTEXT

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

20


ENTRANCE

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

21


HOME

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

22


ELEANOR STREET, BOW E3 4NP LONDON BOROUGH OF TOWER HAMLETS

Total Number of Pitches: 19, 100% permanent, 100% of borough complement Site Character: Exceptionally well-connected site, though uncomfortably squeezed between railway lines in an ‘island’ situation; access roads leading to small clusters of dwellings as recommended by DCLG; mixture of temporary and permanent dwellings. Adjacencies, Local Area: Exceptionally close to Bow Road Underground Station and Bow Church DLR station. Small and medium retail and close to urban centres, plus well-known green open space (Mile End Park, Victoria Park) Status: May be relocated owing to London-wide ‘Crossrail’ transport development.

ROMAN ROAD EAST BETHNAL GREEN WHITECHAPEL

WATNEY MARKET

TOWER HAMLETS CHRISP STREET POPLAR

CANARY WHARF CROSSHARBOUR

“The environment here is good for the family. We’re near to the doctors, shops, transport links and the people in the area know who we are... Round here, people know us and accept us, but more is made of it if we go further a field.” -Sophie Price, long-term resident quoted in ‘East End Life’, 06.2008

The small site in Eleanor Street is surprisingly well-connected, just of the main artery Bow road, between Bow Church and Bow Road Station. At the bottom of the street, which runs along the railway, before crossing the entrance to the site, I was stopped by two teenager girls, on their way back home from school. They asked me why I was photographing the site and I briefly explained the Eu-Roma project’s concept and the reason that lead me there. They took me inside the site, both with prefab houses in bricks and caravans, and I felt uneasy going on with photos. I was introduced to a lady, one of the girls’ mothers, who told me that she didn’t have much time to talk to me and that anyway in the site there weren’t Roma people, just Irish travellers. She kindly suggested me to get in touch with an association, called CARA Housing Association that works with Roma communities.

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

23


CONTEXT

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

24


ENTRANCE

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

25


HOME

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

26


THAMESMEAD

WOOLWICH

GREENWICH WEST

THISTLEBROOK, MANOR WAY, ABBEY WOOD SE2 98Q

PLUMSTEAD

GREENWICH

LONDON BOROUGH OF GREENWICH

Total Number of Pitches: 38, 100% permanent, 100% of borough complement Site Character: ‘Grid’ structure with access roads. Mixture of permanent and temporary/nomadic structures. One of the largest sites in the UK.] Adjacencies, Local Area: The site is close to the centre of Thamesmead, a ‘new town’ development. It is adjacent to both residential, commercial and community centres though is on the outer edge of the LB Greenwich boundary with Bexley. It is close to major roads and retail, and to Abbey Wood railway station. Status: Full, with long waiting list

On arrival at Thistlebrook the entrance looked somewhat derelict: rubbish and broken fencing. But in the quiet community there was a mixture of permanent, pre-fabricated and various sized caravan homes will full amenities including LA garbage disposal bins. There were 2 horses on grazing land adjacent to the site and a dog kennel in each plot. It was clear there was not enough space for car parking, particularly the large vans used for recycling and gardening engines.

ELTHAM

We spoke to three residents, a shy young woman in her 20’s, and elderly lady and an English Romany Gypsy in her late 40’s. The friendly elderly lady with curlers was living in a permanent home with a neat fence, pristine patio and ubiquitous dog: “I don’t mix with the Romany, they live down the road to the right.” The Romany neighbour down the road had a prefab and a two caravans in the patio, she complained how they had been forced to settle and missed the life on the road. She agreed that it was good for her children to have a stable education but reminisced “This is not our life, not the life we’re used to, our kids can also learn on the road, how to make a fire, care for animals, some kids don’t even know the difference between a pig and a cow, but this is the kind of education we can give them.” She complained about the right to own land, but they paid poll tax, rates, rent, etc, there were others less fortunate who had nowhere to go. “But like all groups there are gooduns and baduns.” EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

27


CONTEXT

industrial buildings from within site

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

28


ENTRANCE

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

29


HOME

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

30


3. POLISH ROMA IN THE UK: CASE STUDY 3.1 INTRODUCTION The London Eu-RoMa team made contact with the Roma Support Group (RSG), a community organisation working with East European Roma refugees and migrants since 1998. The RSG work in a context of limited resources to deliver maximum assistance and support to their clients, and a strategy was therefore adopted that would involve Eu-RoMa assisting the RSG in communicating their message whilst providing an opportunity to assemble information which would otherwise be prohibitively time-consuming for their staff.

ply wedge fixed to crate and to panel (2 per panel)

ply wedge fixed to crate and to panel (2 per panel)

collapsible ply grid structure within each bag

pound shop nomad bags opened to 2/3 capacity and zipped

side elevation 1:10

44700a - EuRoMa RSG Exhibition, Conway Hall SK01- Crate 1 Elevation and Section DK 23.05.2008

700mm off ground approx.

cross section 1:10

The chance to do this took the form of a pair of events to coincide with Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, a nationwide month of events in the UK, itself coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of the RSG. Eu-RoMa worked closely with RSG to curate and develop a small, eloquent and intimate exhibition to document 10 years of Roma migration from Poland to the UK, plus the work of the RSG and Roma contributions to the cultural life of the UK. Through this event we gained an intimate portrait of a particular experience of Roma people in the UK, whilst building up contacts, trust, and advocacy. 3.2 DESIGN The design of the exhibition was closely associated with the curatorial intent of the show. The London EuRoMa team assisted the RSG in editing down the points they wished to raise into concise sections, drawing purely upon existing resources: official correspondence, founding charters, a photographic library and legal documentation. These were subdivided into 4 crates, themed around ‘Coming to the UK’, ‘Seeking Asylum’, ‘EU Accession’ and ‘Integration & Contribution’. The ‘support’ structure of each box was designed as a response to the contents of that crate, and was collectively chosen by the Eu-RoMa team and RSG. For example, the first box is supported by woven plastic ‘nomad bags’ (illustrated top left), as these are the bags most commonly used when travelling to the UK, the refugees having commonly sold their luggage prior to departure. This process, with examples such as the one above, fed into a new understanding of the specifics of the situation currently faced by Roma in the UK: qualitative understanding in the form of materials, colours, scale, music, words written by hand.

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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3.3 EXHIBITION CONTENT A DECADE >F R>MA MIGRATI>N 10TH ANNIVERSARY >F R>MA SUPPORT GR>UP In 2008 the Roma Support Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary and it has been just over 10 years ago since the first Roma asylum seekers came to the UK fleeing discrimination, institutionalised racism and persecution in Eastern Europe. This exhibition is an attempt to give you an insight into what forced Roma people to seek asylum (1— Coming to London ), what issues they faced in the UK ( 2 & 3 — Seeking Asylum & EU Accession ) and their contribution to the multi-cultural, diverse fabric of British society, ( 4 — Integration & contribution ). These four themes, enclosed in the four travel trunks are telling the Roma story about the pain of injustice, exclusion, persecution, insecurity and confusion, while on the other hand we also witness their courage, endurance, fortitude of mind and creativity. We would not be here to tell you this story without the commitment and dedication of our Trustees, staff and volunteers, invaluable support from numerous partner organisations and financial contributions from our funders. But most of all we would not be here without the support of the Roma community, which made us what we are today. Many thanks to the London College of Fashion, Project 35 Architects and the Museum of London for helping us to tell this story. Welcome! Sylvia Ingmire Roma Support Group Co-ordinator

Exhibition organized by

Sponsored by In collaboration with With Special thanks to Museum of London With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union www.grthm.co.uk www.grtleeds.co.uk

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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C>MING T> L>ND>N SEEKING ASYLUM EU ACCESSI½N INTEGRATI>N & C>NTRIBUTI>N

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

33


C>MING T> L>ND>N SEEKING ASYLUM EU ACCESSI½N INTEGRATI>N & C>NTRIBUTI>N

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

34


C>MING T> L>ND>N SEEKING ASYLUM EU ACCESSI½N INTEGRATI>N & C>NTRIBUTI>N

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

35


C>MING T> L>ND>N SEEKING ASYLUM EU ACCESSI½N INTEGRATI>N & C>NTRIBUTI>N

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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3.4 TRAVELLING The exhibition opened at the GRTHM event at Conway Hall on the 4th June 2008, accompanying a large concert in the main room. From there, the exhibition was dismounted and exhibited to a whole new audience at the offfices of Project 35 (collaborators in EuRoMa London) in South London, on 25th June 2008. From there, the exhibition travelled to the Civic Hall in Leeds for GRTHM Leeds’ event on the 28th June.

CONWAY HALL, LONDON

HERNE HILL, LONDON

CIVIC HALL, LEEDS

image: GRTHM Leeds

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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4. NEXT STEPS 4.1 INTRODUCTION We propose to complete this stage of our mapping work with two different action-research projects, covering the two key ‘types’ of Roma domestic situation in London. The first acknowledges that Roma are frequently housed in affordable housing developments and the second covers the LA sites discussed earlier in this document. 4.2 ROMA IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING To investigate the current nature of affordable housing in London, with an emphasis on the subtleties of Roma occupation. Information derived from direct documentation of a Roma-occupied dwelling owned and managed by either a local authority or RSL (registered social landlord). Documentation will focus on the subtleties of occupation: ephemera, use patterns, furniture and personal items. Precedents for this kind of work include the photographer Bridget Smith, Stephen Willatts and photographer Tom Hunter, who have experience of documenting traveller lifestyles and dwellings. image: bridget smith

image: stephen willats

4.3 ROMA IN LOCAL AUTHORITY SITES Direct documentation of the Roma (and other) occupation of local authority designated sites, considered in relation to current government guidelines for this occupation. Precedents for this kind of work include, again, Tom Hunter, and ‘The Rule of Regulations’, a 2008 exhibition by David Knight (Project 35 team member) and Finn Williams which explored the discrepancy between a ‘quality’ design by Le Corbusier and current UK housing policy and guidance.

image: finn williams and david knight

image: tom hunter EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED ACTON, Prof. T. The Roma/Gypsies/Travellers - a tale of two genocides. Finding Romanistan, 2006. ACTON, Prof. T. Gypsies in the United Kingdom. Patrin Web Journal, 1997. Accessed 2008. CLARK, C. Britain and Human Rights: Should Travellers be allowed to retain their way of life? Patrin Web Journal, 1999. Accessed 2008. COMMISSION FOR RACIAL EQUALITY. Travellers, Gypsies and the Media: A Good Practice Guide. Patrin Web Journal, 1999. Accessed 2008. COURBET, M (ed). Patrin Web Journal: Romani Culture and History. CROWE, D. A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia. (2nd Ed.), 2007. DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. County of Gypsy and Traveller caravans on 19th July 2007. 2007. Accessed 2008. DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.Gypsy sites provided by Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords in England. 19th Uuly 2007. Accessed 2008 DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Draft Guidance on the design of sites for Gypsies & Travellers: A consultation paper. London, 2007. DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, TRANSPORT AND THE REGIONS and HOME OFFICE. Managing Unauthorised Camping: A Good Practice Guide. London: DETR, 1998. DOUGHTY, L. History Repeating, Guardian, 16.09.2008

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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FRANKHAM, E. The Persecution of Travellers. Patrin Web Journal. Accessed 2008. GORDON, R. Mobile Homes and Caravans. 1985. INFORMATION CENTRE ABOUT ASYLUM AND REFYGEES IN THE UK. Signpost no. 4: Roma asylum seekrs and refugees in the UK. 2004. LONDON COUNCILS HOUSING FORUM. London Boroughs’ Gypsy & Traveller Accomodation Needs Assessment. Accessed 2008. MATRAS, Y (University of Manchester). Romani in the UK. via BBC Languages of the UK, 2004. Accessed 2008. MAYOR OF LONDON. Housing: The London Plan Supplementary Planning Guidance. London 2005. MAYOR OF LONDON. The Draft Mayor’s Housing Strategy, London 2007. MINORITY RIGHTS GROUP INTERNATIONAL (UK). World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples. Accessed 2008. NINER, P (Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Brimingham). Local Authority Gypsy/Traveller Sites in England. ODPM, London, 2003. OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS. Census of England and Wales. 2001. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites. 2006. Including Updated Annex A. 2006. OJELY, J. The Traveller-Gypsies. Cambridge, 1983.

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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www.eu-roma.net

www.fashion.arts.ac.uk

www.project35.com

EU-ROMA London Mapping

With the support of the culture programme. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This report reflects the views of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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London Mapping Report  

London Mapping Report

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