COSLA is working in partnership to improve the lives of Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller communities and to better protect their rights to a culturally appropriate lifestyle.

National Action Plan

We have developed a joint national action plan ‘Improving the Lives of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers (2019/2021)’ in partnership with the Scottish Government and a with members of Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller community.

Scotland’s Council Leaders have all signed up to the plan and committed to show local leadership. The launch of the action plan on 9th October 2019 celebrated commitment in 5 key areas to support better experiences for Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller communities. To:

  •  Provide more and better accommodation
  •  Improve access to public services
  •  Better incomes in and out of work
  •  Tackle Racism and discrimination
  •  Improve Gypsy/Traveller representation

COSLA is particularly working to strengthen understanding and provision of culturally appropriate accommodation, provide leadership to challenge racism and discrimination and to strengthen Gypsy/Traveller representation in decisions that are made at a national and local level.

COSLA and the Scottish Government will be sharing progress on delivery of the action every six months and working closely together to ensure this work delivers lasting and meaningful change.

Local Leadership

With are working in partnership with colleagues across the public sector to help to tackle racism and discrimination towards Gypsy/Travellers. Through the development of a Local Leaders network and briefing pack we are supporting elected members to champion the rights of Gypsy/Travellers in their local areas and identifying ways to strengthen policies and service delivery. Elected members are encouraged to get in touch with if they would like to be involved in this work.

Negotiated Stopping

We are currently working with local authorities to deliver positive approaches to supporting Gypsy/Travellers who are living roadside, either on a permanent or seasonal basis. This work is drawing on learning from the ‘Negotiated Stopping’ model and is developing in partnership with members of the Gypsy/Traveller community to identify culturally appropriate stopping places and enable access to service provision.

 Accommodation, aspirations and needs

We will be working alongside partner organisations to host a series of community research and engagement events between April and August 2020. These will be for members of the Gypsy/Traveller community and councils to come together to discuss accommodation needs and aspirations, identify quality culturally appropriate accommodation and gaps in provision. If you are interested in being involved please contact or

 Previous work

Our team has previously worked with Scottish Government to produce guidance for local authorities on improving the quality of Gypsy/Traveller sites and managing unauthorised encampments.


· Improving Gypsy/Traveller Sites – Guidance on minimum site standards, and site tenants’ core rights and responsibilitieswas published in May 2015.  The majority of councils have met these standards and others have plans to do so by June 2020. 

· Guidance for Local Authorities on Managing Unauthorised Camping by Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland was published in April 2017.

· We also created an elected member briefing note on Gypsy/Travellers (PDF) in March 2017 to improve understanding of the issues faced by this community and to raise awareness of new policy guidance. 



Last updated: 27/02/2020