Creating a fairer Britain
Gypsies and Travellers from around Wales came to the National Assembly for Wales today to put their case for a new deal between the country’s settled and travelling communities.
Welsh Assembly Government Minister Dr Brian Gibbons responded to their concerns by announcing a grant to enable local councils to build new sites for Gypsies and Travellers.
In a morning of activities at the Senedd organised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Croeso Project, representatives of the four Assembly political parties joined in calling for an election campaign between now at the local polls on May 1 that turns its face against exploiting prejudice.
Wales Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Neil Wooding welcomed the steps now being taken by the Welsh Assembly Government and Assembly Members to ensure a better deal for Gypsies and Travellers.
‘We can be proud of the way the Assembly has sought to tackle this long running sore in community relations. There has been agreement among political leaders that sensible action is an urgent priority. With proper standards being set and some new money on the table we all now have an opportunity to find a way forward.
‘But unfortunately there is still a great deal of prejudice against members of the Gypsy and Travelling communities in Wales. It is therefore important that political parties in the run up to the forthcoming local elections are re-affirming their commitment to work against any exploitation of prejudice in political campaigning.
‘The May local elections should be an opportunity to debate proper solutions that meet the needs of all, not exploited to rerun old assumptions and stereotypes that only leave division and yet more problems in their wake.’
The day’s events were part of a month of activities by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Croeso project, an initiative challenging prejudice in Wales.
The drama group, Cwmni’r Frân Wen from North Wales came to the Urdd Gobaith Cymru theatre to perform their hard hitting play Johnny Delaney about the murder in 2003 of an Irish Traveller teenager.
A traditional Gypsy caravan, a varda, restored by school students in Pembrokeshire, is being used in the Museum of Welsh Life as a focus for education workshops for school students in the Cardiff area.
For further details contact Sue Dye 02920 447778 and
Chris Myant 07774 813488
The Equality and Human Rights Commission:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of the Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.