Why do Gypsies and Travellers pursue a travelling lifestyle?
A nomadic way of life has been followed by groups of people all over the world for many, many generations. This way of life involves travelling the country staying for various periods of time in different locations. A Gypsy or Traveller life is not illegal in this country.
There are two distinct ethnic minority groups within the travelling community in this country. Roma Gypsies form one group, and Irish Travellers form another group. New Age Travellers do not form a distinct ethnic group.
How is the council involved with the travelling community?
Oxfordshire County Council has a duty of care to all Gypsy and Travellers within the county and will address their welfare, health and educational needs.
Gypsy and Traveller Services is committed to ensuring that all issues that affect Travellers staying on land within the county are dealt with in a balanced and proportionate manner. Decisions taken by the unit are open to audit under the Human Rights Act and The Equalities Act 2010.
It deals with the sometimes-contentious issue of unauthorised encampments and manages the six county council owned permanent sites. It conducts consultation and negotiations between the Traveller community and the settled community. Additionally it acts as agent for the five district councils and can do so on behalf of private landlords.
Gypsies and Travellers are protected from discrimination by The Equalities Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, together with all ethnic groups who have a particular culture, language or values.
Authorised Traveller sites in Oxfordshire
There are six permanent council-owned sites in Oxfordshire, providing 89 pitches. There are also 21 privately run sites.
Sites managed by the Oxfordshire Gypsy and Traveller Services
- Middle Ground, Wheatley - 16 plots
- Ten Acre Park, Sandford-on-Thames - 16 plots
- Redbridge Hollow, Hinksey Hill - 24 plots
- The Sturt, Oakley Wood, Benson - 5 plots
- Woodhill Lane, East Challow - 12 plots
- The Furlong, Downs road, Standlake - 16 plots
There are privately run sites in the following areas.
- Alvescott near Bampton
- Barnard Gate
- Kingston Bagpuize
- Marston near Oxford
- Minster Lovell
- Stanton Harcourt
Waste and recycling
Normal household rubbish will be collected from authorised sites by the relevant district council, if kept in the black bin bags supplied by that council.
Note: Charges apply for the deposit of trade waste.
Planning issues with caravan sites
Planning permission may be required if you are planning to buy or lease land for use as a caravan site. Before purchasing land, you should discuss your ideas with your district council's planning department.