In 2007 Cumbria County Council on behalf of the six local authorities and Lake District National Park commissioned a 'Cumbria Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment'. This was in response to Government legislation aiming to resolve some of the long standing accommodation issues for the Gypsy and Traveller community and ensure equal access to services. As a result Accommodation Assessments took place across the country.
The Cumbrian study included extensive interviews with both key stakeholders and members of the Gypsy and Traveller community to ascertain the level of provision and requirements for the future in terms of pitches and wider services. Local authorities are required to use this information to develop strategies and respond to needs.
It is hoped that this approach will help authorities prevent inappropriate sites developing due to lack of alternative provision, which has led to local hostility as well as having an adverse effect on the travelling community in terms of access to health care, education, and on-site facilities. This marks a positive step towards working with the community to tackle some of the conflicts that have occurred in the past and improve living conditions for all effected.
The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment also included an assessment of Appleby Fair with the aim of providing an evidence base to assist the creation of a strategic response and pragmatic solutions.
Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment