A fairer Scotland for all: race equality action plan and highlight report 2017-2021

The race equality action plan sets out the key actions for the Scottish Government to drive positive change for minority ethnic communities.

Section 8: Gypsy/Travellers

Outcomes for Gypsy/Travellers are poor across the board. It is often stated that discrimination against Gypsy/Travellers is far more accepted and normalised than that directed at other minority ethnic communities. The difficulties experienced by Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland are long standing and seemingly intractable. While some progress has been made ie in relation to site standards and the production of a model tenancy agreement, much more needs to be done if we are to succeed to improving outcomes for these marginalised communities. Higher level engagement is now required and a radical new approach which will bring about change on a much shorter timescale. The Independent Race Equality Adviser also called for strong leadership at all levels and a powerful Ministerial voice.

The Scottish Government has therefore established a Ministerial Working Group, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, and attended by the Ministers for Local Government & Housing, Childcare & Early Years, Employability & Training and Public Health & Sport. The Working Group will determine priorities for action and drive forward the changes required to start making improvements for Gypsy/Travellers across a range of issues.

As a result, we have not included any actions on Gypsy/Travellers in this Action Plan, not wishing to pre-empt the Working Group.

The age profile of Gypsy/Travellers was much younger compared to the population as a whole. Only 28% of Gypsy/Travellers were aged 45 or over compared to 44% of the population as a whole, and only 4% were aged 70 or over compared to 12% of the population as a whole.

Source: Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census (2014).

SG Planned Activities

Key Activities

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

We will establish a Gypsy/Traveller Ministerial Working Group to cover the areas of Education, Health, Employment and Housing/Planning, which will be attended by the Ministers for these portfolios.

An annual event will be held during Gypsy/Traveller month in June to promote and celebrate the cultural heritage of the community.

Our Gypsy/Traveller Programme of Work will bring together all the relevant policies across Scottish Government to help secure improved outcomes for the community.

We will establish a mechanism to ensure continued engagement with stakeholders and members of the community.

We will work with National Records of Scotland as they engage with Gypsy/Travellers and devise their plans for Scotland's Census 2021

A joint Scottish Government and COSLA summit will be held in 2018 with local authorities to share best practice on improving the lives of Gypsy/Traveller communities.

A review will be held into the progress of local authorities and Registered Social Landlords towards meeting the minimum site standards for Gypsy/Traveller sites ahead of the June 2018 deadline.

Educational guidance will be published aimed at schools, including early learning and childcare settings, and local authorities, to help them improve educational outcomes for Traveller children.

We will continue to engage with the Health and Social Care sector to improve Gypsy/Travellers' access to and experience of healthcare services over the lifetime of this Parliament.

We will financially support organisations working to improve outcomes in areas such as employment, health and education for the Gypsy/Traveller and Roma communities.

We will use social media and the One Scotland website to promote the Gypsy/Traveller community and organisations.

We remain committed to Scotland's plan-led system being more effective, and we will review the Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP), including to enable the positive planning of family sites for the Gypsy/Traveller community, over this parliamentary term. The Planning Bill will pursue a higher, statutory status for policies contained within the SPP. It will also pursue measures aimed at encouraging wider engagement in the development plan.


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