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A DISTRICT councillor has hit out at Derbyshire County Council’s shock decision to withdraw five potential traveller sites from consideration – just days before the crucial vote was cast.

Cllr David Frederickson announced his dissatisfaction at the meeting on Tuesday, January 22, where members voted on which site to take forward as a permanent location to accommodate a gypsy family.

He said: “I am disappointed by the county council representatives on this and I suspect that they have withdrawn the sites because an election year is coming up.”

On Friday, January 18, the county council contacted Derbyshire Dales District Council to say that after further investigation they were withdrawing all five sites they had put forward in on December 18.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said that the authority “completely rejects” the claims, adding that the authority has “bent over backwards” to help the district council “deliver on its own responsibilities by offering to identify and investigate possible land for Traveller sites”.

The spokesperson said:“We carried out initial research on five sites we thought could be suitable – but further investigations showed there were very good reasons why we were not able to proceed with any of them .

“It is Derbyshire Dales District Council’s responsibility to find appropriate Traveller sites and we will continue to work with them to see if we can identify any suitable land.”

n For full details of the traveller site decision, see page 4.