A plea has been made for more funding…Oh? And this is for..?
… to help combat "distrust" and "hostility" aimed at the city's gypsy population.I...
Officers at Stoke-on-Trent City Council carried out a review of public perception of travellers after councillors raised concerns about negative stereotypes. They found many residents still believe "age old myths" about travellers and gypsies – and they have been "reinforced" by TV shows such as My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
Themes reported included stereotyping travellers as being "dirty", "thieves", having "unruly children" and being responsible for anti-social behaviour.I cannot possibly guess where such attitudes come from. Can you?
Now elected members have called for more work to be done in schools and communities to improve understanding about travellers' culture. It comes as Hanley-based charity Brighter Futures works with the council to find a suitable site for a new, permanent 15-pitch camp.Ah, I see!
Val Bourne, below, the council's assistant director of housing services, said: "There is little sympathy or understanding displayed by the local population regarding issues faced by the gypsy and traveller community.That's possibly because they get so little back in return for their sympathy and understanding they've learned not to bother!
"Many members of the public display considerable distrust and wariness around anything to do with gypsies and travellers…Yes, indeed. It's called 'learning from (bad) experience'. Humans are good at that.
…and often perceive that the same rules don't apply to them."Again, another perception that seems to have a certain amount of reality-based evidence underpinning it...
Councillor Bagh Ali, chairman of the adult services scrutiny committee which requested the review, said members want to see more investment to tackle the problem. He added: "We share the concerns raised. The travelling community do face these problems. We are going to work very closely with officers to find out what more we can do to help improve things."For whom? As if I didn't know...
It would help, of course, if there just wasn't so much evidence around that residents are right to be concerned:
Mr Brierly said the school's solicitor gave the group a notice to leave the site yesterday morning. If they were still there on Monday, he said he would speak to the county council to seek a court order.
Mr Brierly added: "Our solicitor has been down there with police to serve warning. He got some verbal abuse. As a foundation school we have our own legal team. But for the purposes of speed, we have been in touch with Notts County Council and will be going to court on Monday to force them to move on."See? Throwing money down the drain. Again.