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9 Jan 2017

Benefit fraud councillor hasn't resigned yet

A shamed parish councillor, who was convicted last month after falsely claiming tax benefit, was noticeably absent from the first council meeting of the new year.

Alex Slater, who sits on Hazlemere Parish Council (HPC), did not attend the full council meeting on Tuesday evening, and councillors commented on his absence from other meetings he was expected to attend as a member.

The former Wycombe District councillor falsely claimed more than £1,500 in council tax reduction benefit while he was a member of WDC, after failing to declare that tenants were living in his Hazlemere home, in Holmoak Walk, between 2013 and 2015.

Slater – who now lives in Aylesbury – has paid back the amount he claimed.

Slater told the Bucks Free Press he was “genuinely sorry” and would be taking some time off to consider his position on HPC – a decision that, councillors said at the meeting, the council had not made aware of.

At the meeting, cllr Judy Weaver was temporarily asked to take over from Slater as the council representative for Chepping’s Local Access Forum (LAF) and it was decided that whichever councillors were able to, would attend meetings of the Wycombe Association of Local Councils (WDALC) on Slater’s behalf, since he is the Hazlemere Parish Council representative for WDALC.

Slater added if members of HPC were to take a vote of no confidence against him he would “happily accept the result”.

He was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 140 hours unpaid work, and instructed to pay costs of £1,175 on December 14.

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