A TOWN councillor has been barred from public office for a year after trying to use his influence for personal gain.

Vic Fellowes, who represented the Community Group on Thorne and Moorends Town Council, was disqualified from being a member of any local authority following a hearing of the Adjudication Panel for England.

But Mr Fellowes claimed this week that there had been a misunderstanding and said that he was considering appealing against the decision of the panel.

The charges related to an incident in March this year during a row over an allotment held by Mr Fellowes in Moorends.

Mr Fellowes was reported to local government watchdog the Standards Board for England by association secretary Ivor Snook.

The panel found that Mr Fellowes had breached the council's Code of Conduct by bringing the council into disrepute and using his position to secure himself an advantage. The findigs stated that Mr Fellows had breched the code by offering to assist the association to obtain a Community Chest grant in return for the abandonment of proceedings to bring his allotment holding to an end.

Mr Fellowes' disqualification began immediately after the hearing last Thursday (November 17). He has 28 days to appeal against the decision.

However, Mr Fellowes said: "I have nothing to hide and now I have been charged with the offence, for breaching the code of conduct. I was trying to help a group which has now gone bankrupt."

The Adjudication Panel for England was set up to enforce high standards of conduct for those in public office.