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Stafford councillor faces benefits cheat charges

By Stone Edition  |  Posted: July 17, 2014

Local Council elections 2013..Stafford North division..Ian Hollinshead

Local Council elections 2013..Stafford North division..Ian Hollinshead

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A STAFFORD Borough councillor is being taken to court by his own council for alleged benefit fraud, the Newsletter can exclusively reveal.

Councillor Ian Hollinshead is due to appear at Stafford Magistrates' Court on July 30 to answer two charges of failing to declare a change in circumstances, namely employment.

The charges relate to claims for housing and council tax benefit and date from April 2011 to March 2013.

A Stafford Borough Council spokesman confirmed that the council would be bringing the prosecution to court on July 30.

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Councillor Hollinshead, of Yarlet Croft, was first elected to Stafford Borough Council in May 2011 as a Labour member for Littleworth.

In 2013 he was also elected to Staffordshire County Council to represent Stafford North.

The Newsletter attempted to contact the councillor this week but he was unavailable for comment.

On the Littleworth Labour website he described himself as "a 52-year-old local businessman, born and raised in Stafford, married with a young family".

"Being an honest and truthful person I believe you will find me approachable and that we can build a productive relationship for the future," the statement added.

A West Midlands Labour Party spokesman said: "We take these matters seriously.

"Councillor Hollinshead has been administratively suspended from the Labour Party, pending the result of the court case."

Administrative suspension bars Councillor Hollinshead from attending party meetings, but he is still required to vote with the party whip and is permitted to attend borough and county council meetings.

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