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Gypsy/Traveller Inquiry – review of progress

The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee is carrying out a review of progress in relation to the recommendations of the Committee's 1st Report 2001: Inquiry into Gypsy Travellers and Public Sector Policies.

Aim of inquiry

To carry out further investigation into what has been achieved and what impact, if any, there has been on the lives of Scotland’s Gypsies/Travellers. The 37 recommendations of the Committee's original inquiry report covered the areas of accommodation, health, education, personal social services, policing and criminal justice and promoting good relations.

Evidence

The Committee agreed its approach at its meeting on 15 October 2004.

Written Evidence

The Committee issued targeted calls for evidence with a deadline of end of January 2005.

Oral Evidence

The Committee has taken oral evidence from a range of stakeholders at their meetings on 12/04/05, 24/05/05, 07/06/05, 21/06/05 and 28/06/05.

Background

The Committee published the report of its Inquiry into Gypsy/Travellers and Public Sector Policies in June 2001.  The report was positively received by a wide range of stakeholders and the w ork of Committee was referred to as ‘groundbreaking' in a Human Rights Report by the US State Department to the US Senate and House of Representatives.

In its review of progress, the Committee has looked at a significant body of evidence from Gypsy/Travellers, local authorities, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, the Scottish Executive and a range of agencies working with Gypsy/Travellers to find out if anything has changed since 2001.

The Scottish Executive has responded twice to the 2001 report; its initial response was published in October 2001 and an updated response – Delivering for Scotland's Gypsies/Travellers – was published in June 2004.

Timeline

June 2001 - The Committee publishes the report of its Inquiry into Gypsy Travellers and Public Sector Policies.
Oct 2001 - The Scottish Executive publishes its initial response to the report.
Sept 2003 - The Committee agrees to hold a taking stock exercise on the progress of the Executive in responding to the Committee’s recommendations.
June 2004 - The Executive publishes an updated response - Delivering for Scotland’s Gypsies/Travellers.
Sept 2004 - The Committee agrees to carry out further investigation into what has been achieved and what impact, if any, there has been on the lives of Scotland’s Gypsies/Travellers.
Jan - June 2005 - Evidence on progress was gathered.
28 June 2005 - At the meeting of the Committee the Executive announced an extra £3million funding and the establishment of a short-life working group on Gypsy/ Travellers.
7 Oct 2005 - Committee publishes Preliminary Findings on Gypsy/Travellers - Review of Progress. Recommendations to be published following the report of the short-life working group, due in March 2006.

Further information

Official Report of meeting on 12 April 2005
Official Report of meeting on 24 May 2005
Official Report of meeting on 7 June 2005
Official Report of meeting on 21 June 2005
Official Report of meeting on 28 June 2005

Inquiry into Gypsy Travellers and Public Sector Policies

Delivering for Scotland 's Gypsies/Travellers. An Updated Response to the Equal Opportunities Committee Inquiry Into Gypsy Travellers And Public Services 2001

To contact the Equal Opportunities Committee, please contact the Clerk, Steve Farrell, telephone 0131 348 5211, RNID Typetalk calls welcome, fax: 0131 348 5600 or email: equal.opportunities@scottish.parliament.uk.