Allocation of Gypsy and Traveller sites for the Barnet borough cut by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson

Times Series: Mayor of London Boris Johnson cuts Gypsy and Traveller site target for Barnet borough Mayor of London Boris Johnson cuts Gypsy and Traveller site target for Barnet borough

THE target for the number of Gypsy and Traveller sites the borough will be expected to provide has been cut by the Mayor of London.

Under new proposals, Barnet Council will only have to provide 16 sites by 2017 compared to the initial target of 22 put forward by Boris Johnson last year.

The move by the Mayor will cut the number of proposed sites across London from 538 to 238 after he admitted the original plans “could not be justified, nor achieved”.

The number of sites in the borough would still be the joint third highest in the city, with neighbouring boroughs of Harrow, Brent, Haringey and Enfield only sharing an allocation of 22 between them.

Staff working for the mayor said consultations on the draft London Plan “highlighted concerns about the methodology used to set the targets and raised serious doubts that they could be achieved”.

Previously, Barnet Council bosses claimed 22 sites would not be suitable for the borough.

The alterations have been branded “more realistic” and “fair” for all 33 boroughs, although Mr Johnson remains adamant he wants to improve the capital's poor record in delivering pitches fro the Gypsy and Traveller community.

He said: “In light of the feedback we received it was apparent that the targets we had proposed could not be justified, nor achieved.

“I want to make real progress in improving on the capital’s poor record in increasing the provision of sites for the Gypsy and Traveller communities, but there is no point setting targets that will clearly not be delivered.

“This is a complicated issue, with many factors to be taken into account, and I am confident that what I have put forward now strikes the right balance between deliverability and addressing need, and sets an ambitious agenda for all involved.”

The new proposals will now be subject to a further seven week public consultation before potentially becoming part of the full replacement plan preparation.

Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chairman of London Councils, said the announcement was “welcome” and shows Mr Johnson “is listening to the boroughs”.

He added: “These more realistic targets show the Mayor is responding to the boroughs’ legitimate concerns on this very sensitive issue.”

Comments (11)

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6:51pm Wed 24 Mar 10

justitia says...

Every year, Barnet hosts a Holocaust Memorial Day, which ought perhaps to address the fact that apart from the genocide of millions of Jews, up to a million Roma people were murdered in Nazi death camps (and subjected to the most despicable experiments by Nazi 'scientists'). Antisemitism is now rightly totally abhorrant to us, but the persecution and victimisation of gypsies and travellers is still an appalling feature of our society. We have refused to allow them the basic necessities of life in this borough and it is an indictment of our council's hypocrisy and inhumanity that they have fought so hard to maintain this state of affairs.
Every year, Barnet hosts a Holocaust Memorial Day, which ought perhaps to address the fact that apart from the genocide of millions of Jews, up to a million Roma people were murdered in Nazi death camps (and subjected to the most despicable experiments by Nazi 'scientists'). Antisemitism is now rightly totally abhorrant to us, but the persecution and victimisation of gypsies and travellers is still an appalling feature of our society. We have refused to allow them the basic necessities of life in this borough and it is an indictment of our council's hypocrisy and inhumanity that they have fought so hard to maintain this state of affairs. justitia
  • Score: 0

11:43pm Wed 24 Mar 10

danhope says...

Very odd headline, Kevin, based on the facts. The reality is that Barnet may well be forced to have a massive increase in such sites. Who gave you the headline that suggests that there will be fewer than now?
Very odd headline, Kevin, based on the facts. The reality is that Barnet may well be forced to have a massive increase in such sites. Who gave you the headline that suggests that there will be fewer than now? danhope
  • Score: 0

12:21am Thu 25 Mar 10

Rog T says...

Strangely, with a council election coming up the location of these sites is being kept secret. I wonder why?
Strangely, with a council election coming up the location of these sites is being kept secret. I wonder why? Rog T
  • Score: 0

10:18am Thu 25 Mar 10

justitia says...

sorry guys: look at your language, and your prejudices - 'forced to have a massive increase' etc ... imagine if you were writing about a place of shelter for any other disdvantaged ethnic group: Barnet has fought tooth and nail for decades to prevent ANY sites for gypsies/travellers, despite a statutory obligation to do so. We may not be able to accommodate large numbers of sites, but surely we have the humanity to find one single location at least where people can stop? You are falling into the trap of believing the racist stereotyping of media 'stories' about a marginalised group of people you know nothing about. Stop believing everything you read in the Daily Mail and use your own judgement.
sorry guys: look at your language, and your prejudices - 'forced to have a massive increase' etc ... imagine if you were writing about a place of shelter for any other disdvantaged ethnic group: Barnet has fought tooth and nail for decades to prevent ANY sites for gypsies/travellers, despite a statutory obligation to do so. We may not be able to accommodate large numbers of sites, but surely we have the humanity to find one single location at least where people can stop? You are falling into the trap of believing the racist stereotyping of media 'stories' about a marginalised group of people you know nothing about. Stop believing everything you read in the Daily Mail and use your own judgement. justitia
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Thu 25 Mar 10

mrsangry999 says...

Not so long ago, a traveller family moved into rented accommodation across the road. Everyone was horrified: there goes the neighbourhood etc. As it turned out, in the six months they were there, we had no trouble whatsoever - admittedly the children appeared not to go to school, and no doubt the family scrap business was cash in hand, but they were quiet, tidy and well disciplined. The boys and the father spent all day working hard to support the family. Contrast this experience to our feral, Conservative council sponsored neighbours who have been accommodated in subsidised housing entirely supported by benefits, who see no problem with disrupting our lives with their appalling antisocial behaviour. See my blog, Broken Barnet, if you are interested in more details. Stop getting your undergarments in a twist over gypsy sites and worry about the bigger picture: this coming election is an opportunity to clear out an administration on its last legs and start again. Let's do it.
Not so long ago, a traveller family moved into rented accommodation across the road. Everyone was horrified: there goes the neighbourhood etc. As it turned out, in the six months they were there, we had no trouble whatsoever - admittedly the children appeared not to go to school, and no doubt the family scrap business was cash in hand, but they were quiet, tidy and well disciplined. The boys and the father spent all day working hard to support the family. Contrast this experience to our feral, Conservative council sponsored neighbours who have been accommodated in subsidised housing entirely supported by benefits, who see no problem with disrupting our lives with their appalling antisocial behaviour. See my blog, Broken Barnet, if you are interested in more details. Stop getting your undergarments in a twist over gypsy sites and worry about the bigger picture: this coming election is an opportunity to clear out an administration on its last legs and start again. Let's do it. mrsangry999
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Fri 26 Mar 10

Rog T says...

Justitia,

To clarify my comment. There are rumours that the new sites will be located on Green belt fields in Mill Hill and Totteridge. I personally believe that the green belt should be defended against ALL developments. Whether this is new traveller sites or rich Tory supporting landowners using temporary buildings to get around the rules, my view is the same. Barnet legally have to have these sites, the issue is whether the CONSERVATIVES use this as an excuse to further erode the green belt.
Justitia, To clarify my comment. There are rumours that the new sites will be located on Green belt fields in Mill Hill and Totteridge. I personally believe that the green belt should be defended against ALL developments. Whether this is new traveller sites or rich Tory supporting landowners using temporary buildings to get around the rules, my view is the same. Barnet legally have to have these sites, the issue is whether the CONSERVATIVES use this as an excuse to further erode the green belt. Rog T
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Sun 28 Mar 10

justitia says...

Rog, I support what you say about the Green Belt entirely - but I doubt very much that any gypsy or traveller site would ever be placed by Barnet Council anywhere pleasant and green. Having always blatantly ignored the basic human needs of such people they are hardly going to offer them somewhere half decent, are they? I am glad though that you are raising awareness of the constant threat to the Green Belt by development. The Tory administration is far too accommodating to the demands of developers. What is happening on the Ridgeway is just appalling, in my view. I have known this part of Mill Hill all my life and feel very angry to see some of the changes that are being allowed to spoil the character of this area. Can nothing be done to challenge the council's lack of action?
Rog, I support what you say about the Green Belt entirely - but I doubt very much that any gypsy or traveller site would ever be placed by Barnet Council anywhere pleasant and green. Having always blatantly ignored the basic human needs of such people they are hardly going to offer them somewhere half decent, are they? I am glad though that you are raising awareness of the constant threat to the Green Belt by development. The Tory administration is far too accommodating to the demands of developers. What is happening on the Ridgeway is just appalling, in my view. I have known this part of Mill Hill all my life and feel very angry to see some of the changes that are being allowed to spoil the character of this area. Can nothing be done to challenge the council's lack of action? justitia
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Sun 28 Mar 10

mrsangry999 says...

if you really want something to worry about that is happening now, read about our experience of Barnet Council's attitude to dealing with antisocial behaviour, coming soon to a street near you:
http://wwwbrokenbarn
et.blogspot.com/
if you really want something to worry about that is happening now, read about our experience of Barnet Council's attitude to dealing with antisocial behaviour, coming soon to a street near you: http://wwwbrokenbarn et.blogspot.com/ mrsangry999
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Mon 29 Mar 10

Grumblepop says...

As much as I empathise with your plight, some of us living on some of the "sink estates" come from middle-class backgrounds also suffer 'nuisance' behaviour. We also get the laissez faire treatment

Sadly, your neighbours are tenants of a house (not a Gypsy Caravan) owned by a private landlord.The Council administers Housing Benefit on behalf of the Benefits Agency (A huge error by a Conservative Government whom also heavily subsidised the Right to Buy ). Thus far, under both Homeless and Housing legislation Barnet Council have fulfilled their obligations, regardless of any political party elected to govern.

It will not be any comfort to you so please, accept my apologies, I wish not to be patronising because, you will have already sought legal advice from Housing and Property specialists on a prohibitive injunction for 'nuisance' to be served on the landlord and property owner. Notwithstanding the Environmental Health's obligations, Barnet Council nor the Police will do much. The latter have much more pressing cases to deal with than 'neighbour nuisance.'

Try Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors in Camden or both Powell Spencer and Daniel & Harris of Kilburn,

Do also write to Conservative Councillor Melvyn Cohen, Solicitor with a property law dept in his partnership. He also has the Planning Portfolio.
As much as I empathise with your plight, some of us living on some of the "sink estates" come from middle-class backgrounds also suffer 'nuisance' behaviour. We also get the laissez faire treatment Sadly, your neighbours are tenants of a house (not a Gypsy Caravan) owned by a private landlord.The Council administers Housing Benefit on behalf of the Benefits Agency (A huge error by a Conservative Government whom also heavily subsidised the Right to Buy ). Thus far, under both Homeless and Housing legislation Barnet Council have fulfilled their obligations, regardless of any political party elected to govern. It will not be any comfort to you so please, accept my apologies, I wish not to be patronising because, you will have already sought legal advice from Housing and Property specialists on a prohibitive injunction for 'nuisance' to be served on the landlord and property owner. Notwithstanding the Environmental Health's obligations, Barnet Council nor the Police will do much. The latter have much more pressing cases to deal with than 'neighbour nuisance.' Try Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors in Camden or both Powell Spencer and Daniel & Harris of Kilburn, Do also write to Conservative Councillor Melvyn Cohen, Solicitor with a property law dept in his partnership. He also has the Planning Portfolio. Grumblepop
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Mon 29 Mar 10

mrsangry999 says...

genuine thanks for your advice, Grumblepop: the truth is that legal action is for people with unlimited financial resources and not us. Or so we have thought so far: we may have to resort to this. I'm afraid a Tory councillor would be the last peson on God's earth that we would ask for help, after this experience, and if any of them comes canvassing on my doorstep, well, you can imagine ... actually I'll probably just send them next door ...
genuine thanks for your advice, Grumblepop: the truth is that legal action is for people with unlimited financial resources and not us. Or so we have thought so far: we may have to resort to this. I'm afraid a Tory councillor would be the last peson on God's earth that we would ask for help, after this experience, and if any of them comes canvassing on my doorstep, well, you can imagine ... actually I'll probably just send them next door ... mrsangry999
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Wed 2 Jun 10

justitia says...

just to point out that this report is grossly inaccurate and has confused the number of proposed sited with pitches ie there is a suggestion of 22 PITCHES not sites ....
just to point out that this report is grossly inaccurate and has confused the number of proposed sited with pitches ie there is a suggestion of 22 PITCHES not sites .... justitia
  • Score: 0
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