Mapping for Change is working with London Gypsies and Travellers to gather various data to help influence the London Plan on an often over-looked community. The resulting maps build a more accurate picture of their presence, history and the inequalities and social exclusion they face. Mapping the Pathway to Equality is the first project of its kind and has been made possible by the generous support of the Joseph Rowntree Chartable Trust and the Aziz Foundation.
The process of compiling an evidence base around accommodation needs, barriers to site provision, impacts on health, education, employment opportunities and community life has laid bare the current gaps in accessible information around Gypsies and Travellers. Consequently, the lack of reliable data can negatively influence planning and policy making decisions and can lead to inequalities for these marginalised ethnic groups.
To explore the existing information on accommodation we mapped data from the 2011 Census alongside a detailed London-wide Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (the Fordham study), commissioned by the GLA. Comparing these datasets highlights discrepancies between accommodation provision and need, against population estimates and census data. Most noteworthy is the fact that these maps make visible members of the community who may be reluctant to self-identify or who did not complete the census. Hence, the research reiterates the need for more robust data collection to support planning and accommodation policies.
The Mapping the Pathway to Equality project will make the information collected visible and accessible to community members, support organisations, politicians and policy makers.
It’s great to see some of the project outputs already being used. The data that we have collected, collated and mapped has been included as on of the Topic Papers to inform the Mayor’s draft London Plan. This is a positive step towards adopting a more targeted approach in meeting the accommodation needs of this community.