Scottish Government announces £3m action plan to tackle challenges in Gypsy/Traveller community

The Scottish Government has launched a £3 million action plan to tackle the discrimination and challenges faced by the Gypsy/Traveller community.

Scottish Government announces £3m action plan to tackle challenges in Gypsy/Traveller community

The plan, which has been co-produced with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), will support improvements to accommodation, education, healthcare and access to benefits.

Local authorities will use £2m of the funding to improve Gypsy/Traveller accommodation and sites, with the remaining funding going towards third sector children’s education projects and health and social care initiatives.

The action plan will focus on five key areas:

  • Providing more and better accommodation
  • Improving access to public services
  • Maximising household incomes
  • Tackling racism and discrimination
  • Strengthening community development and engagement

Christina McKelvie, equalities minister, said: “This action plan seeks to tackle deep-seated inequalities and discrimination experienced by Gypsy/Travellers by addressing the challenges they face. It is a collaborative approach with COSLA and we have listened to the concerns of Gypsy/Travellers.

“We want to make a difference to their lives and ensure they are treated fairly and have positive experiences of our public services.”

Elena Whitham, councillor and COSLA community wellbeing spokesperson, said: “I am proud to say that all 32 council leaders have unanimously backed this plan and pledged to provide leadership locally. It’s crucial that we turn words into action to rebuild trust with our Gypsy/Traveller communities, who continue to face intolerable discrimination and are at a high risk of poverty.”

Dominique Barr, Gypsy/Traveller Women’s Voices Project development worker at the Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Scottish Government’s and COSLA’s action plan to tackle the numerous and entrenched problems experienced by Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland. We are hopeful that the concerted efforts of all partners together with the community will drive forward real and lasting change.”

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