Tory councillor forgot his car tax

TAXES may be uppermost in the minds of the Tories at the moment but Conservative county councillor Ben Redsell is today rueing the day he forgot about his.

TAXES may be uppermost in the minds of the Tories at the moment but Conservative county councillor Ben Redsell is today rueing the day he forgot about his.

The young campaigner has been ordered to pay more than £300 by magistrates for failing to have a valid tax disc on his car.

Redsell, 25, of Melton Meadow Road, Melton, who is standing for re-election in Woodbridge, was found guilty of two offences of keeping a vehicle without excise licence in force.

South East Suffolk magistrates sitting in Ipswich found the case proven in his absence this week - although Redsell told The Evening Star that he had pleaded guilty to the offences in writing.

He was fined £110 with £50 costs for the offence on February 7 and there was a further £125 fine with £50 costs and £13.75 in back duty for a similar offence on February 12.

Redsell - who is the former Conservative agent in Ipswich and still an active campaigner for Paul West - said today that he was very embarrassed about the case, which happened because he was very busy at the beginning of February.

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He said: "My tax disc ran out at the end of January and I simply forgot about the date because I was so busy at that time.

"The first time I was given a ticket when the car was parked in the street, the second time I was driving back from Ipswich when I was stopped.

"That car is now off the road - I have a new vehicle."

Redsell said the convictions would not derail his re-election campaign.

He said: "I shall carry on. I don't think this should affect that in any way."

And his group leader at the county council was also quick to offer him support.

Jeremy Pembroke, who is hoping to become leader of the county council after the elections on May 5, said: "I am sad to hear that, but I hope the people of Woodbridge look at the number of people Ben has helped since he was elected to the county council before they cast their votes."

Redsell was elected to the county council in a by-election last year and is the youngest member of the authority.

Last August he hit the headlines when it was revealed that someone in the town was re-painting yellow lines on roads because of frustration about the county's failure to maintain the lines properly.

Redsell called on highways maintenance staff to ensure that the lines were maintained to ensure emergency vehicles retained access to the town.

n. What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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