Support from the AIS and ARG's

Summary

"Local Authorities may want to support businesses that fall outside the business rates system with this additional cash. This could include travel and tour operators, including B&Bs and event industry providers, wholesalers, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses like caterers, wedding photographers, hairdressers and makeup artists and market traders, and wraparound care providers. We are also calling on you to be as flexible as possible in enabling pubs, cafes and restaurants to open outdoor seating areas and host outdoor events in a Covid-secure manner, as the Local Government Secretary stressed in his letter in March. This will keep cash flowing to these businesses in the short term and support our long-term recovery from the pandemic as we reopen and kick start the economy again. Businesses are counting on you to deliver this urgent support and be as flexible as possible to see them through what will hopefully be the final few months of restrictions. I know that you will continue to do your bit as part of this national effort to defeat the virus."

Quoted from a letter by both the DCMS and BEIS on the 31st March, 2021

The AIS’s support of the travelling Showmen community and ARG's

Given below is a sample letter that the AIS can send on behalf of it's members in support for your applications, or enquiry into why you are not reciving any financial support:

Request for clarification as to refusal for Additional Restrictions Grant support


To whom it may concern,
My name is xxxx a resident of this council, postcode xxxx. I have made numerous phone calls and have applied for the Additional Restrictions Grant on more than one occasion to no avail. My request for clarification is based upon the fact that I’m a travelling Showman, and I feel that I am not being given the due consideration necessary.

Travelling Showpeople (more commonly referred to as Showmen) are always an afterthought in such applications of government guidance and support, and that both historically and in today’s contemporary society are never given the necessary consideration, either as individuals, or as a community at a policy making level with regards to the proportionate, and reasonable amount of discretion to be carried out in such matters.
The multiple questions regarding Showmen identity, culture and way of life are inextricably interconnected to our ‘business being mobile in its operation’ and this is never considered in such local authority identification processes regarding eligibility, as so far the outcome again has shown.

This is yet another example of how the unique business and living arrangements of Showmen pose such a legislative puzzle.

Furthermore, it is my belief that in reference to this decision it is important to consider the human rights implications of the requirement to close premises and businesses during the lockdown. There are a number of human rights engaged here including Article 8 - private life, but given the loss of income involved, the most relevant in my understanding is Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights which protects property.
As my property – a business that is mobile - has not been confiscated, for the purposes of Article 1 Protocol 1, this would be characterised as a ‘control’ on the use of my possessions in accordance with the general interest of Public Health safety. Interferences with property, I believe in this way are also covered by this right. I therefore ask, whether a fair balance has been struck between the demands of the general interest of the community (Public Health safety), and the requirements of the protection of my individual fundamental rights as a travelling Showmen?

It is my understanding and belief that, in accordance with that which, as written in Article 1 (1) of the International Convention of Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, that is, there is a need to reflect the fact that racial discrimination encompasses “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”

That the application of the guidance and policies regarding these business support schemes and the fact that my way of life and business is ‘mobile’ targets me, I believe, for discrimination based on my descent. Without such recognition, myself as a Showman will remain at the mercy of inconsistency in the application of any guidance within the field of business support grants by local authorities during this pandemic and in so doing will nullify or impair my equal enjoyment of being able to exercise my fundamental right as an individual to operate my business as a travelling Showmen.

I look forward to your considered response.