Unpaid work for benefit cheat councillor

Councillor Tony Brice
Councillor Tony Brice
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A COUNCILLOR has been given a community order after admitting three counts of benefit fraud.

Independent councillor Tony Brice serves Lindley on Kirklees Council.

He admitted three charges, one of failing to declare a pension he had been receiving since 1995 for of £392 per month, another of failing to tell Kirklees Council he was receiving a new second pension of £67 a month and another of failing to notify them the payments from the 1995 pension had risen to £442 while applying for council tax and housing benefits in May 2010.

He receiving an overpayment of £2,977.32 after falsely representing himself.

Brice, 67, of Belmont Close, Huddersfield, also failed to declare more than £1,000 in savings, an ISA and British Gas shares.

He lost his seat in the 2010 election but was re-lected. He said stress had caused him to submit the wrong information.

He told Calderdale Magistrates’ Court it was an “oversight” and told officers the forms were complicated. The court was given character references from fellow politicians and friends and heard he has since paid back all the money.

He was ordered to pay all the £1,908 in costs - all of which was footed by taxpayers and complete 120 hours unpaid work.