Statement signed by all group leaders

As a District Council we are committed to always acting in an open and transparent manner with both councillors and officers expected to conduct themselves in a way that would be expected of public servants.

In the last week media articles have raised concerns locally about our decision making processes in relation to the designation of Matlock Bath Station Yard Car Park as a temporary tolerated site for a specific Traveller family, the communication of that decision to the Heights of Abraham and the role of senior officers.

We have reviewed all of the correspondence in connection with this decision making process and are assured that there has been no wrongdoing in the decision making process, the communication of that decision or on the part of the Council’s Chief Executive or the Heights of Abraham in lobbying the Council to protect their business interests.

We have previously been clear that all decisions in respect of the allocation of temporary or permanent Traveller sites can only be determined by councillors at a meeting of the full Council. Furthermore, we can confirm that no agreements were entered into with the Heights of Abraham by any officers. All relevant decision making processes have been complied with in accordance with the Constitution, with reports, minutes and decision notices having been available for public scrutiny on this matter since October 2022.

To demonstrate our commitment to openness and transparency we have published a chronology of decision making and all relevant correspondence in relation to this matter.

Finally, we want to place on record that we continue to have full confidence in Paul Wilson, the Council’s Chief Executive, who has acted entirely properly in discharging his duties and responsibilities in relation to this matter.

Signed by:

  • Cllr Susan Hobson (Conservative group leader)
  • Cllr Neil Buttle (Green/Independent group leader)
  • Cllr Mike Ratcliffe (Labour group leader)
  • Cllr Steve Flitter (Liberal Democrats group leader)
  • Cllr Colin Swindell (Independent group leader)

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