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Birmingham City Council

Travellers

The history of Travellers in Britain - whether Romany or Irish - extends back over 400 years. People of Traveller descent have made many contributions to our life and culture, whether they be real people such as Charlie Chaplin and Michael Caine, or fictional characters inspired by the Traveller lifestyle such as Roald Dahl's Danny, the Champion of the World or the boat-dwelling Gyptians in Philip Pullman's Northern Lights.

The Gypsy Traveller way of life means they travel the country staying for various periods of time in different locations in order to earn a living. This has been their way of life for many generations.

One outcome of the Traveller way of life is that they find it more difficult to access the services the rest of us use with comparative ease. Anything which needs an address is very difficult for them and they also have problems with medical & dental care, postal deliveries, children's education and steady employment. In many ways, Travellers are a lower cost to the taxpayer than other forms of social provision such as housing or temporary bed & breakfast accommodation.

The aim of the information set out here is to inform you how the council and other official agencies work to balance the rights of Travellers with the rights of house-dwellers, and the rights of the council itself.

Gypsies and Travellers - like all peoples who are bound together by a particular culture, language, or values - are protected from discrimination by the Race Relations Act 1976, the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Equality Act 2010.

Useful contact information for travelling families

Birmingham Social Services - 0121 303 4125
Education Officer For Travelling Children(West Midlands Consortium Education Service for Travelling Children) - 01902 714646
Health Visitor for Travellers - 0121 446 2300
Birmingham Housing Needs Advice Line - 0121 303 4125
Police Community Officer - 0121 626 402

Useful websites