‘Cliff Codona, chair of the National Travellers Action Group, warned that Gypsy and Traveller families across the country are in “desperate situations”.

“The Traveller education services were always there in the past, but now they are disappearing so things are getting harder and harder,” he said. “The money for Traveller education services is going into the ethnic minority achievement pot – and we’re at the bottom of that pot.”

He claimed that councils are failing to communicate with local Gypsy and Traveller communities. “Local authorities are not engaging with people to let them know what’s happening, so Gypsy and Traveller families do not know who to contact for support,” he said. “When people have problems, there is no one there for them to go to.”