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Gypsies and Travellers


The Gypsy and Traveller community are one of the largest minority groups in St Helens.

In St Helens there are a number of authorised Gypsy and Traveller sites across the borough, both council owned and privately owned.

We have a responsibility to meet the housing needs of the whole community. To ensure that we meet the housing needs of local Gypsy/Traveller families, we manage a permanent site which has been provided for families who wish to stay in the area.

The permanent site contains provision for 20 families. There is an Allocations Policy, which sets out the rules for how available pitches will be let. Gypsies and Travellers wishing to come onto the site must complete an application form. The Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer manages the site.

We have taken part in the Merseyside and West Lancashire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment to fully understand the needs of the community.

The Gypsy Traveller Liaison Officer's role is to:

  • Manage the permanent Council Gypsy and Traveller site including the allocation of pitches;
  • Promote good community relations between different racial groups;
  • Work with other agencies to improve access to services for Gypsies and Travellers;
  • Respond to complaints about encampments and to work with other agencies to deal with unauthorised encampments;
  • Provide information on all Gypsy and Traveller matters.

Unauthorised Encampments

An unauthorised encampment is where any person camps on land they do not own. The Gypsy Traveller Liaison Officer will work with partner agencies to effectively manage unauthorised encampments while ensuring the rights of both the Gypsy, Traveller and settled community.

Unauthorised Developments

An unauthorised development is where any person has developed an area of land for residential use but without planning permission. Unauthorised developments will be dealt with by the Council's Planning Enforcement Team, who can be contacted by:

Gypsies and Travellers are protected from discrimination by the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Human Rights Act 1998, together with all ethnic groups who have a particular culture, language or values. The aim of this information is to set out how the Council and other official agencies will work to try to balance the rights of all those involved.

Contact details

Lorraine McGowan - Gypsy Traveller Liaison Officer
Telephone: 01744 671683
Email: LorraineMcGowan@sthelens.gov.uk