Greens: new councils must improve sites for Travellers

New councils must improve standards and facilities at Gypsy/Traveller sites in their region, the Scottish Greens have said.

Funds to improve sites were set up in 2018 after a report showed many councils across Scotland had failed to provide basic living standards at existing sites. 

However, funding was delayed during the pandemic, means many communities have only found out in recent months whether their applications were successful. 

Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson Maggie Chapman raised the case of Clinterty travellers’ site in Aberdeen, which although will now see improvements they will not significantly increase capacity, and the availability of other sites remains an issue.

Maggie Chapman said: “Given we have known that many sites fail to meet basic living standards for many years, improvements are long overdue and the new councils elected tomorrow need to step up efforts to improve conditions for Travellers across Scotland.

"Gypsy/traveller communities themselves will know best what their communities need, and so it is extremely important that councils work with the community to agree where money should be spent, and that includes recognising the impact of restricting access to sites of historical importance to this community.

“Traveller communities continue to experience poorer living standards, education, health and employment, and often face extreme and persistent stereotyping and hostility, and the least they deserve is decent conditions and facilities at the sites they use.”