‘Hidden agenda in the last decade: localism and Housing Acts in UK.
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Other TitlesIII. Conference on Gypsy Studies International scientific conference Pécs, 25th-26th April 2014
AbstractLocalism acts such as Act 2011 have always accompanied and reinforced Planning Acts. For example, in Planning Act 2008, National Policy Statements describe clearly a single commissioner’s role and tasks to handle application; they also define the cases in which Secretary of State is decision-maker. Planning acts describe the meaning of ’owner’, allocation of housing accomodation and acquisition of land. On the other hand with the help of Localism Acts enforcing rules, regulations and continuous amendements, some local communities have successfully challenged Gypsy planning applications as in our case studies in East and West Midlands. Since several years and looking back in time, policy-makers and extremely conservative locals have always challenged planning applications of Gypsy individuals and communities by successfully repealing provisions of local authorities through petitions and other abusive behaviour at times. And although a Housing Act promises to make provisions about housing, secure tenancy and also about mobile homes and the accomodation needs of gypsies and travellers, it may also contain contraddictory content in ’schedules’, ’service notices’ and ’appeals to prohibition notices’, ’management orders’, which may encourage locals to oppose local authorities decisions about Gypsy protected sites. However the most sinister decisions and campaigns against Gypsy sites and planning permissions have been triggered mainly by the Localism acts and by notions of who has the right to be a ’local person’ having the right to make an application and/or acquire land to be used as protected site. In some case study we can discover that the terms of ’Gypsy’, ’nomadism’ and ’Traveller’ become challenging ’weapons’ against planning applications. No Gypsy person getting a local fixed job can be considered any more as a ’Gypsy’ or ’Traveller’, but, they have no chance to become ’locals’ to acquire more rights. On the opposite side, if any person comes from somewhere else is not considered a local to have equal rights with everybody else in the area. If they declare themselves as Gypsy/Traveller, they are opposed by locals as such; locals use themes of wrong waste management and lack of cleaningness, for example, based on Housing Acts to prevent decisions of local authorities ion favour of gypsies who recently lost the right to get legal aid and appeal, as well. The term ’Gypsy’ is played down to what the rest of the inhabitants wants to achieve and most of the times middle aged Gypsy women become victims of a male war of law and regulations; there are occasions in which a woman lost the right to be a ’Gypsy’ simply because they had to find a job close by and for long in order to be a carer for her elderly parents. We are going to challenge ’good practices’ by investigating on these cases through hidden agenda and metaphors used in acts and related decisions and outcomes.
CitationTracada, E., Spencer, S. and Neary, S. (2014) ‘Hidden agenda in the last decade: localism and Housing Acts in UK.', [Presentation] III. Conference on Gypsy Studies International scientific conference Pécs, 25th-26th April
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