Council leader charged with benefit fraud

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THE LEADER of Broxtowe Borough Council has been charged with an alleged £45,000 benefit fraud.

Cllr Milan 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).

But 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 a 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.

“I’m disappointed and annoyed to say the least,” he added.

Cllr David Watts, the leader of the Liberal Democrats at Broxtowe Borough Council, said: “This country has a long established and perfectly proper tradition that everyone should be treated as innocent unless and until a court finds them guilty.

“We do not therefore anticipate any changes to the leadership arrangements of the borough council at this time.

“We will not be making any further comment on this matter, until the conclusion of legal proceedings.”

Cllr Radulovic, 56, who was awarded an MBE in 2007, was first elected to the borough council in 1986 and currently represents Eastwood South on the council.

He was leader of Broxtowe Borough Council between 1995 and 2007 and also served as leader of Eastwood Town Council between 1991 and 2003.

Cllr Radulovic, who resumed his post as leader of Broxtowe Borough Council after the elections last May, has been charged under the Social Security Administration Act for ‘having made a false statement’ relating to an incapacity benefit claim form.

A hearing was held at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on January 6 and he is next set to appear on March 16.