COSLA and the Scottish Government have agreed an 18-month extension on the action plan ‘Improving the lives of Gypsy/Travellers 2019 -21’. COSLA is committed to using this time to support Local Authorities to have greater Gypsy/Traveller representation, tackle racism and discrimination and provide more and better accommodation as well as safe and healthy stopping places.
COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, Councillor Kelly Parry, said: “COSLA and Scottish Government Action Plan “Improving the lives of Gypsy/Travellers 2019 – 2021” Improving the lives of Gypsy/Travellers: 2019-2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) gave the commitment to work together to improve the lives of Gypsy/Travellers.
“With the support of Gypsy/Travellers, partner organisations and Local Authorities we have made good progress in some areas but recognise that this is not enough. We remain committed to delivering all the actions in the plan, recognising that more time is needed to do so.
“The Scottish Government and COSLA have therefore agreed to extend the life of the plan for a further 18 months and end in October 2022. This gives us the opportunity to follow up on actions that cannot take place until COVID 19 restrictions are lifted and prevents us from losing the momentum we’ve gained during the pandemic.
“A key commitment in the Action Plan was for the Scottish Government and COSLA to review housing and investment programmes to ensure the needs of Gypsy/Travellers were included going forward. “Scottish Government have announced that up to £20 million will be made available over the next five years for more and better Gypsy/Traveller accommodation as part of Housing 2040. This funding, part of Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, will give local authorities the ability to improve existing sites and expand provision over the next five years. This builds on £2 million allocated to site improvement in 2020-21.”