According to The former Office of the Office Deputy Prime Minister... "Gypsies and Travellers are estimated to make up less than 1% of the population of England, but only a proportion of Gypsies live in caravans."
We currently own and/or operates six residential Gypsy sites around the County, providing a total of 96 pitches for their semi-permanent residents.
A further 12 pitches are available at an established transit site in the south-east of the County. A potential need for a second transit site has recently been identified in the north-west of the County. An existing transit site in north-east Wiltshire was transferred to the new Unitary Authority of Swindon Borough Council some years ago.
This current level of provision accommodates 169 semi-permanent residents and a further 48 residents - assuming full occupancy - at the transit site; a nominal total of 217 Gypsies and Travellers overall. A breakdown of these figures is:
- North Wiltshire(1 site): 55
- East Wiltshire (0 sites): 0
- South Wiltshire (3 sites): 87
- West Wiltshire (2 sites): 27
- Odstock Transit Site (1 site): 48
- Emergency Stopping Places: 0
- Total: 217
We understand that Traveller communities are diverse, but that many Gypsies and Travellers choose to live within small kin-based groups where they can enjoy the benefits of their extended family support which is an essential part of their culture.
We aim to provide appropriate accommodation and support services to Gypsies and Travellers on the sites it manages, which respect their culture and traditions and help to address some of the discrimination they face. Traveller Liaison Officers (TLO) must be satisfied that the applicant is a bona fide Gypsy or Traveller.
We are currently working towards the implementation of a joint Housing Needs Assessment for the Gypsy and traveller communities in the County.
Last updated: 16 February 2011