Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Trainee Solicitor through the Legal Education Foundation (LEF)

We are very pleased to announce that the Legal Education Foundation (LEF) have provided us with a grant to employ a Trainee Solicitor from January 2022 to work with the Travellers Advice Team in conjunction with Friends, Families and Travellers. Details are available on the LEF website at: 2021 Fellowship opportunities | Justice First Fellowship (thelegaleducationfoundation.org).

Please note that applications can only be made through the LEF website and that CLP and FFT cannot accept direct applications.

Please also note that applicants must have passed the Legal Practice Course in order to be considered.

We encourage applications from Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Liveaboard Boaters.

Mead Lane Moorings

The Travellers’ Advice Team at CLP were instructed by a liveaboard boater who resorts to the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal. She has what Canal & River Trust (CRT) describe as a ‘continuous cruising licence’ which means she has to move her boat ‘bona fide for navigation’ in terms of the British Waterways Act 1995. This means she cannot remain in the same place for more than 14 days apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Definition of Gypsy and Traveller

Lisa Smith -v- The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Others [2021] EWHC 1650 (Admin) 17 June 2021

Between 2006 and 2015, planning policies included within the definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ those who had either temporarily or permanently ceased to travel by reason of health, education or old age. By a revised planning policy issued in August 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government modified the definition to remove the reference to those who had permanently ceased to travel for such reasons. Lisa Smith, a Romany Gypsy who lives with her extended family in caravans on a private site in Leicestershire, challenged the lawfulness of the 2015 policy following a Planning Inspector refusing her planning appeal because she did not come within the definition. As a result the Planning Inspector concluded that the application by Ms Smith did not benefit from the more permissive planning regime contained in Planning policy for traveller sites.

Mr Justice Pepperall dismissed her appeal. Originally Ms Smith appealed on another ground, aside from the challenge to the alleged unlawfulness of the definition, but she is no longer pursuing that other ground.