CAMBS: New UKIP councillor to appear in court for benefits fraud

Election of Chairman and Leader for Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Peter Lagoda.

Election of Chairman and Leader for Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Peter Lagoda. - Credit: Archant

A NEWLY elected UKIP county councillor - and former Kings Lynn Conservative borough councillor - is to appear at Peterborough Crown Court today charged with a single count of benefits fraud.

Cllr Peter Lagoda, of Cocketts Drive, Wisbech, is charged with dishonestly failing to tell Fenland District Council about income changes that could affect his benefit.

Cllr Lagoda, formerly of Bevis Way, Gaywood, pleaded not guilty when the case first appeared before Kings Lynn magistrates in May 7.

He had the case initially transferred to Cambridge Crown Court during a hearing at Cambridge Magistrates Court on April 5 before it finally appearing on the listings for Peterborough Crown Court today.

The precise charge alleges that he dishonestly failed to promptly notify Fenland District Council that there was a change in his circumstances knowing it would affect his entitlement to benefit.

He has been remanded on unconditional bail pending the trial.

Earlier this month, and on an extraordinary day for UKIP, he won the Cambridgeshire County Council seat of Wisbech South.

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He polled 774 votes, ousting previous division councillor Simon King who polled 636 votes. Malcolm Gamble polled 333 votes for Labour and Dave Patrick, a district and town councillor for the Liberal Democrats, polled 281 votes.

It was a clean sweep for UKIP in Wisbech which even claimed the scalp of incoming mayor Councillor Samantha Hoy. She remains both a town and district councillor but lost her Wisbech seat to UKIP.

Cllr Hoy took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the result.

“Well Wisbech. You wanted change, you got it,” she said.

Cllr Lagoda is the son of the late Bill Lagoda , a former Wisbech fireman, who died last month.

His father Bill was a former German prisoner of war who stayed on in England after the last war- and spent 22 years with Wisbech fire service - and was given ceremonial honours at his funeral.