Updated: March 15, 2011
Burnham MP re-pays contested discount cash to district council

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has repaid around £800 of contested single person's discount to Sedgemoor District Council following a string of national press stories.

Tessa Munt last year denied accusations that she had improperly claimed council tax benefits on her constituency home.

She claimed a single resident’s discount even though several men were registered on the Electoral Roll as living with her.

They were former Radio One DJ Andy Kershaw and the former spokesman for the family of missing Madeleine McCann, David Hughes, plus local GP Dr John Laband.

She has always denied any wrongdoing, but has now repaid the outstanding sum owed of around £800.

The MP told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Inquiries into my claims for single person discount on my council tax began more than a year ago. I felt the inquiry was not progressing, was wasting taxpayers' money and council resources. Without any new request from the council, I recently decided to pay the contested amount in full."

"As I have said in a number of public meetings in Somerset, I did not claim or receive any benefits, with the exception of child benefit during my long campaign."

"The last thing I wanted here was for the council tax payer to pay £10,000 of legal fees, only for the matter be settled in my favour."

A Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Monday: "We do not make comments regarding the personal financial circumstances of customers."

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