Leading politician in drink drive probe

A SENIOR Essex councillor is due to appear in court next month accused of drink driving.

Roddy Ashworth

A SENIOR Essex councillor is due to appear in court next month accused of drink driving.

Stephen Henderson, cabinet member for housing at Tendring District Council, will face Colchester Magistrates on January 14 in connection with a crash in Harwich.

A summons was issued to the 54-year-old following a lunchtime crash in Fronks Road, in which a red Peugeot 206 he was driving struck a stationary Volkswagen Golf.

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It is understood Mr Henderson, 54, was injured in the collision and trapped in the Peugeot for almost an hour as fire and rescue crews battled to free him.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance after the crash that happened shortly before 12.15pm on October 9.

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Mr Henderson is leader of the Community Representatives Party at Tendring District Council and was appointed to the cabinet in May by Conservative council leader Neil Stock.

Mr Stock said yesterday: “Stephen is a greatly valued member of the council's cabinet and has always worked hard alongside all our other portfolio holders to tackle the challenges faced by our district.

“I have not had the chance to discuss this matter with him and as this is a private matter it would not be right for me to make any further comment at this stage.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Police were contacted shortly before 12.15pm on October 9 to reports of a collision involving a red Peugeot 206 and a stationary red VW Golf.

“The driver of the Peugeot was injured and taken to Colchester General Hospital by ambulance.

He said a man from Harwich was reported for an alleged motoring offence.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “A 54-year-old man from Harwich has been summonsed to appear at Colchester Magistrates Court on January 14, 2010, in relation to an offence of driving with an alcohol level above the legal limit.”

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called at 12.16 on October 9 to a two-vehicle road traffic collision in Fronks Road, Harwich.

“Two appliances were sent, one from Dovercourt and one from Weeley. One person was trapped in a vehicle and paramedics were at the scene.

“Crews used hydraulic cutting equipment and released him at 1.09pm into the care of the ambulance service.”

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 12.14pm and a rapid response vehicle attended.

“There was a road traffic collision between two vehicles near the family surgery. There was a nurse on the scene.

“There was a patient who was taken to Colchester General Hospital.”

Yesterday Nigel Brown, Tendring District Council's communications manager, said: “It is not appropriate for the council to comment.”

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