AN UPDATE on the progress of a new needs assessment for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation will be given to councillors next week.

Denbighshire County Council is undertaking work to assess current accommodation need within the Gypsy and Traveller community and this does not include looking for locations for sites.

On May 16, the Council’s Scrutiny Committee agreed for a Task and Finish group to be set up to support this work and ensure it was delivered in line with Welsh Government methodology.

The Task and Finish group has developed a work brief and a communications plan and will be reporting back on the proposed process to the Scrutiny Committee on July 26.

The Council has a legal duty to undertake a new Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) every five years as a requirement of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and it is also a requirement for the replacement Local Development Plan (LDP) the Council is currently working on.

Cllr Mark Young, the Council’s Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “The Council has taken on board concerns raised during previous work and both senior officers and Cabinet members are involved in a project board to manage the development of this project. As part of that work we are keeping key stakeholders and members of the community updated.

“We are keen to ensure elected members are engaged early in this process and help to shape what we need to deliver.

“The Task and Finish group has worked extremely hard to develop a comprehensive work plan and communications plan which they will present to Scrutiny Committee next week.

“The project board is keen to now begin the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and hopes to start the process once the Scrutiny Committee has had a chance to review the approach.

“The communication plan considers how to get the message out to families from the Gypsy and Traveller community who are resident in Denbighshire as well as keeping everyone updated on the work of the Council.”

Cllr Barry Mellor, Chair of the Task and Finish group, said: “Elected members from across the county have worked really hard to understand the requirements of this work.

“The Council has a legal duty to undertake this Assessment and it is important we do it properly.”

The consultation process, which will include talking to Gypsy and Traveller families and the wider community including representative groups, will begin in August and is expected to run until October.