First of all, the Echo reports that two ex-councillors next door in Castle Point have been jailed for 28 days each for benefit fraud:
…..An unimpressed District Judge David Cooper said the Meagers were “swindling their own council”.
He said: “It’s imposssible to accept that this was some temporary oversight.
“You both have shown a cynical and really breathtaking dishonesty and greed over many years. This is aggravated by the fact you were both councillors and I think the public will be affronted if an immediate custodial sentence was not passed.”
All the money has been repaid to the council, but the couple must now pay court costs of ?2,661 each or serve an extra two weeks in prison.
Mr and Mrs Meager, who resigned as Tory St Mary’s ward councillors in November last year, hung their heads as they were handcuffed and led down to the cells…..
The Mirror covers the story as well:
Two Tory councillors were jailed yesterday for swindling their own council in a benefits scam.
Alan, 49, and Kate Meager, 55, had their own business, a US holiday home, and a rented-out flat but claimed ?3,400 in council tax benefits.
Judge David Cooper at Chelmsford magistrates court in Essex jailed the couple for 28 days.
He said: “You have both shown cynical and breathtaking dishonesty and greed over many years.”
Mrs Meager, of Benfleet, Essex, said she was a single parent and didn’t tell Castle Point council she got tax credits.
Meanwhile in Rayleigh, a depressing Echo news story from Hambro Hill:
YOBS armed with bricks, wood and lumps of concrete caused tens of thousands of pounds’ damage to 12 new vans parked in a compound.
The vandals threw lumps of heavy masonry, wood and bricks over the fence of the car compound in Hambro Hill, Rayleigh, which is owned by the Essex Autogroup.
The attack left ten Ford Transit vans and two Ford Tourneo vans with dented bodywork, smashed windscreens, broken bumpers, smashed headlights and trashed wheel-trims.
It is possible some of the vans have been damaged so badly they cannot be sold to the public and will be written off . The company faces a bill of up to ?260,000 for the damage….