London Colney Councillor faces trial over benefit fraud allegation

The case is going to trial

The case is going to trial - Credit: Getty Images/Creatas RF

A newly-elected Tory district councillor has appeared in St Albans Magistrates Court charged with housing benefits fraud.

Together with his wife Louise, Simon Calder, who won the vacant London Colney seat for the Conservatives with 1,882 votes, has made two appearances in court charged with failing to notify the district council of a change in circumstances that would affect their entitlement to housing benefit.

The couple, of Norris Close, London Colney, have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case will go to trial in July.

Father-of-six Cllr Calder, 47, was elected to the district council in a by-election in 2012 but lost his seat last year.

A spokesperson for St Albans council confirmed that they did know about Cllr Calder’s appearance in court but did not want to make any further comment.

Under the Local Government Act of 1972 a councillor who is convicted of any offence and receives a prison sentence of three months or more - whether suspended or not - would be disqualified.