Special meeting called to debate potential Traveller sites

The Progressive Alliance leading Derbyshire Dales District Council is set to make progress this month in its determination to identify appropriate Traveller sites locally.

Now that the pre-election period is over, the District Council's cross-party Gypsy and Traveller Working Group will be putting forward a list of possible temporary Traveller sites for consideration by a special meeting of the Community & Environment Committee, called for Monday 22 July.

That meeting will then agree which of the sites, to be published online by 12 July, should go forward for public consultation before any final decisions are taken.

In addition to the site list, the Working Group will be recommending the adoption of a new code of conduct for Travellers and caravan occupiers.

District Council Leader Councillor Steve Flitter said:

"Previous administrations of this Council struggled for decades to meet their responsibilities to our communities. When the new Progressive Alliance came into being just over a year ago we pledged a new approach by taking the politics out of this very sensitive issue - and that's exactly what we have done.

"There are no easy answers, but the cross-party Working Group, will be endorsing a consultation in which to give local people their say on a proposed list. They will take into account the feedback they receive.

"We absolutely recognise that the current situation, where Traveller families to whom we owe a legal homelessness obligation, are in encampments in Matlock and Matlock Bath, is unsatisfactory for them and the wider communities involved.

"But we are a responsible Council, determined to deliver for all parts of the communities and groups we serve."

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