Councillor accused of benefit fraud in court

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A TORY councillor has appeared in court charged with £32,000 of benefit fraud.

George Ringrow, 67, of Paxton Road, Fareham, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He is accused of two counts of dishonestly failing to notify authorities of a change in circumstance affecting benefit claims, that he was in paid employment while receiving pension credit between May 2009 and January 2015.

The second count relates to May in 2009 when he is accused of not telling authorities he was receiving an occupational pension.

Ringrow is a Conservative councillor for the Fareham Town ward on Hampshire County Council.

The charges relate to around £32,000 of benefits claimed by him.

He is due to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on March 7.

Ringrow is county chief executive officer for St John Ambulance in Hampshire.

He was elected to the Fareham Town division at the county council in May 2013 with 2,686 votes.

The Tory group at the council has suspended him while court proceedings are ongoing, councillor Chris Carter told The News.