West Berkshire Council

Gypsies and Travellers

Services for gypsies and travellers, and how unauthorised sites and encampments are dealt with

Gypsies and travellers are considered an ethnic minority, whose rights are legally protected from discrimination.

Like all local authorities, we have a range of statutory responsibilities to gypsies and travellers.  We provide these through the services we provide to the entire community, in areas such as accommodation, health, welfare and education. 

These are the rights of all individuals.

Unauthorised encampments

Gypsies and travellers live a nomadic lifestyle, which means that they often travel the country staying for various periods of time in different locations, in order to earn a living, visit family or friends or attend schools, doctors and dentists.  This has been their way of life for many generations. Currently, there are too few permanent transit (or temporary) sites and stopping places across the country, which has led to gypsies and travellers moving onto land that they don't own.

The setting up of unauthorised encampments can lead to concerns and friction between landowners, local people and gypsies and travellers.

We work closely with the police when working out action to take to remove unauthorised encampments. Our approach is explained in our doc icon protocol for unauthorised encampments [353kb].


If you are concerned about a rough sleeper, you can use the StreetLink website to connect them to local support services.

Who To Contact

Contact details for the Traveller Liaison Officer, working with the gypsy and traveller communities

01635 503269