Council leader steps down

editorial image

A COUNCIL leader charged with benefit fraud has temporarily stepped down from his cabinet role.

Cllr Milan Radulovic – accused of a £45,000 benefit fraud – has stepped down from his position as leader of Broxotwe Borough Council and appointed deputy leader, Cllr Pat Lally, to take on his duties.

Mr Radulovic, of Cross Street, Eastwood, stands accused of failing to declare council allowances on an incapacity benefit claim form by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

He denies any wrongdoing and claims the cash was part of an out-of-court compensation payout from Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre back in 2005 following an operation which he says left him almost blind in one eye.

The Labour councillor claims he has documentation proving his innocence and vowed to fight the allegations and clear his name.

The council is run by a coalition of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors.

And Cllr David Watts, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council, said they asked him to step down.

Cllr Watts said: “I told him I thought he needed to concentrate on clearing his name and sorting out his health issues becsue he has not been at all well.

“Sometimes people need to hear their friends tell them what’s best for them.”

A statement issued by the council said: “Broxtowe Borough Council understands that its current leader, Cllr Milan Radulovic, will be unable to undertake his duties as leader for a temporary period.

“In the circumstances he has decided to appoint a deputy leader, Cllr Patrick Lally, who will undertake the functions of the leader and act on his behalf in respect of his portfolio responsibilities until Cllr Radulovic is able to resume both roles fully.”

The council remains controlled by a Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition.

Cllr Radulovic is due to appear at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on March 16.

He has served as leader of the council since the election in May 2011 and has served as a councillor in Eastwood since 1986.