Kushti Bok issued this press release today:
Thirty years on from the Battle of the Beanfield, Gypsies and Travellers still face huge levels of hostility and prejudice according to Kushti Bok, the Dorset charity that aims to provide a voice for Gypsies and Travellers. On Tuesday, 2nd June, Kushti Bok hosted an inter-agency meeting that pledged to address negative stereotypes and to work for improved community relationships.
“As a group of agencies working together, we can be much more effective,” explained Councillor Andrew Kerby of North Dorset District Council whose portfolio includes Gypsy and Traveller Liaison.
“All of us need to be reminded of our duties under the Equalities Act, 2010,” said Kelly Haggett, Dorset County Council’s Officer for Equality and Diversity.“Not only do we have a legal duty to protect our Gypsy and Traveller communities, more importantly we have a moral duty, not only to protect but to celebrate the contribution of Gypsy and Traveller communities in Dorset.”
Those present and agreeing to a multi-agency approach to tackling prejudice and negative stereotypes included (left to right)
Daniel Biggs, of Borough of Poole
Nathalie Sherring of Dorset Race Equality Council
Councillor Andrew Kerby of North Dorset District Council
Kelly Haggett of Dorset County Council and the Dorset Forum for Equality and Diversity
Revd Roger Redding of the Diocesan Support Group for the Gypsy and Traveller Chaplain
Betty Smith-Billington of GTR Media
Emma Scott of West Dorset District Council and the South West Multi-Cultural Network
Councillor Pauline Batstone of Dorset County Council and North Dorset District Council, also a member of the Chaplain’s Support Group
Kim Creswell of Kushti Bok
The photographer was Jenny Galuschka of Kushti Bok.