A COUNCILLOR has been arrested on suspicion of benefit fraud.

Alison Hansford, 38, of Railway Road, Brinscall is the Conservative member for the Wheelton and Withnell ward on Chorley Council.

She was taken into custody under caution by police yesterday on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation.

She was immediately suspended by the Conservative group, which controls the council.

Mrs Hansford was elected to the council in May 2010 for a four-year term, with a majority of 134 votes.

Councillor Peter Goldsworthy, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “In view of developments I have suspended her from the Chorley Conservative group so she is therefore no longer a Conservative councillor.”

Although suspended from her party group, Mrs Hansford remains a councillor and is now effectively an independent.

It is understood the arrest came after an investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police, said: “A 38-year-old woman from the Brinscall area is in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation.”

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