GAINSBOROUGH’S deputy mayor has defended his right to remain in his town council seat after receiving a £400 court fine.
Coun David Manning, 55, of Tooley Street, Gainsborough, was ordered to pay a £400 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £43 court costs by Lincoln Magistrates’ Court. He also took six points on his licence.
The offence was ‘failing to identify the driver of a vehicle’.
The court dealt with the matter in Coun Manning’s absence because, he says, he was not told to attend court.
The fine has attracted criticism from some in the town, and calls for Coun Manning to explain himself.
Fellow town councillor Robin Perry even complained to the district authority, claiming Coun Manning’s behaviour had brought his position and the council into disrepute.
In a letter seen by the Standard, Coun Perry said: “I believe he has broken the Councillor’s Code of Conduct.”
Coun Perry went on to suggest he had also broken four of the ten general principles which councillors should abide by - honesty and integrity, openness, a duty to uphold the law, and leadership.
Coun Manning, however, was quite happy to discuss the court fine with the Standard.
“The fine was in relation to a vehicle I used to own, which was caught speeding after I had sold it,” he said.
“I was summoned to court for the speeding offence, but I replied saying I did not know who the driver was, as I had sold the car.”
Having been a motor dealer for many years, Coun Manning said he had filled in all the relevant DVLA paperwork needed to transfer registration of the car.
“I know what I am doing and I’m always meticulous with my record keeping so I don’t know what has gone wrong,” he said.
“I’m the victim here. If I had been driving the vehicle and been speeding I would have got three points. But as it is I’ve been given six.”
Commenting on the complaint that had been made against his conduct, Coun Manning said: “It has been blown out of all proportion.”
He said WLDC had checked out the complaint and assured Coun Manning his seat was safe.
A spokesman for WLDC said it could not comment on individual cases, but that it would continue its support to ensure Gainsborough Town Council remained a ‘healthy, fair and democratic local authority’.