The role of the traveller liason officer

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Please can you tell me what is involved in
A) A WELFARE ASSESSMENT
B) A COMMUNITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
C) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SECTIONS 61 62 & 77 ORDERS

Also the costs involved in the assessments and orders and the time scales of obtaining the orders

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Brighton and Hove City Council

3 Attachments

1. The role of the traveller liaison officer
Our Answer:
Please see attached TLO job description:

2. Please can you tell me what is involved in
A) A WELFARE ASSESSMENT
Answer A:
Government Guidance on UE’s says we must visit the Gypsies and Travellers to check their welfare needs. Government guidance issued in 2004. We are guided by government guidance on the management of unauthorised encampments, and we are also required to follow government guidance, protocols and procedures laid down in the council’s Traveller Strategy. We base any action taken in accordance with these. Some form of effective welfare enquiry is necessary to identify whether needs exist which might trigger these duties or necessitate the involvement of other sectors, including the voluntary sector, to help resolve issues. We have obligations towards unauthorised campers under other legislation (mainly regarding children, homelessness and education). We liaise with other local authorities; health and welfare services that might have responsibilities towards the families of unauthorised campers. Some form of effective welfare enquiry is necessary to identify whether needs exist which might trigger these duties or necessitate the involvement of other sectors, including the voluntary sector, to help resolve issues.

Decisions on what action will be taken regarding an unauthorised encampment will also take into account health and welfare needs of all adults and children in each household. Limited access to secure and safe stopping places makes it difficult for Travellers to access the Health and welfare services they need. Their health is far worse than the population as a whole, particularly around life expectancy, infant mortality and maternal mortality. In addition travelling communities suffer from poor education, discrimination and racial hatred. Lack of suitable, secure accommodation underpins many of the inequalities that they experience as access to employment, health, education and other services. We undertake joint agency work when supporting Travellers with their health and welfare needs. We collect initial information from unauthorised campers on any perceived welfare, health or educational needs. All public authorities need to be able to demonstrate that they have taken into consideration any welfare needs of unauthorised campers prior to making a decision to evict.

Our legal responsibilities to Gypsies and Travellers are to ensure their Human Rights Act 1998 are safeguarded and public sector equality duty is fulfilled. (Equality Act 2010, Act 2000, Crime and Disorder Act 1998), We also have to ensure that we have paid due regard to the Homelessness Act 2002 which says a person is considered homeless if they have accommodation but it consists of a moveable structure, and there is no place where they are entitled or allowed both to place it and to live in it. Our safeguarding and child protection powers must also be covered as per the Children’s Act 1989 and ore recent amendments. The Education Act 1996 also means we must provide education to all school age children within their area (whether permanently or temporarily) and this includes Gypsy and Traveller children who also have the right to receive 200 sessions (half days) of education per year. Any decision we take is open to legal challenge. This is why a welfare check had to be done.

Case law (starting with the judgement of Sedley J in R v Wealden District Council ex parte Wales) has developed and clarified the courts' expectations of the welfare enquiries and decision making processes local authorities should adopt in making evictions under 1994 Act and other powers. Please see attached doc: GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS ON UNAUTHORISED ENCAMPMENTS THE LAW RELATING TO WELFARE ENQUIRIES AND HUMANITARIAN CONSIDERATIONS.

Please can you tell me what is involved in
B) A COMMUNITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Answer B
We undertake a Community Impact Assessments’ with a written record on every unauthorised encampment. In doing so we take into account information like the number of families and vehicles involved, the location of the encampment and its impact on the community and that the encampment would prevent a planned event from going ahead. We also look at the state of the encampment, how well it’s being kept, including any damage or rubbish. Each encampment location must be considered on its merits against criteria such as health and safety considerations for the unauthorised campers, traffic hazard, public health risks, serious environmental damage, and the size of the encampment and whether any anti-social behaviour has been associated with it. Government guidance states that it is good practice to allow some toleration for short periods in locations where the encampment does not have any adverse impact on the settled community.

Decisions must always be: 'Lawful' - that is in line with local policy and procedures, taking into account relevant considerations and not taking into account the irrelevant. Reasonable' in the legal sense of not being perverse or irrational in the light of the evidence available. Balanced' in that they take account of the rights and needs of both the settled community and Gypsies and Travellers. Proportionate' - what is proportionate will vary according to the precise circumstances of each encampment, including the nature of the location and the behaviour and needs of the unauthorised campers. (Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping 2004). While an encampment remains, we will continue to review and monitor the site, the Health and welfare of travellers and should illegal or anti-social activities occur we will jointly reconsider, with the police, what action to take.

C) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SECTIONS 61 62 & 77 ORDERS
Please see attached document

2. Also the costs involved in the assessments and orders and the time scales of obtaining the orders.

Our answer:

Cost of per court order is £280.00

Where we are required to obtain possession of an area of land through the court, the council is dependent upon the court for a hearing date. Time scale for obtaining the order from court is between 7-10 days

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