WORCESTER’S new mayor is the subject of an official complaint from an opposition councillor who says she abused her position prior to taking office.

Cllr Alan Amos has sent a formal complaint to the council’s monitoring officer accusing new mayor Cllr Jo Hodges of “abusing her position” when she was deputy mayor.

In his complaint, Cllr Amos refers to a letter Cllr Hodges wrote to the Worcester News on April 28 concerning a neighbour chopping down some trees, which she signed in her capacity as deputy mayor.

This, according to Cllr Amos, was an attempt to use her position to gain an advantage by signing it as deputy mayor rather than as a private citizen.

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In his complaint, he said: “With much regret, a matter has been drawn to my attention which I do not really want to become involved in but which I nonetheless have a duty to address.

"I fear this can only be a formal complaint for a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct by Cllr Jo Hodges. In that letter, she claimed to be a victim of her neighbour’s behaviour, referring solely to her own street and her own personal situation.

"She has a perfect right to make a complaint as a private citizen concerning what is a private matter but her action was an indisputable breach of the code which states that no member may use their position to gain personal or private advantage.

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“By contacting the local press in her capacity as deputy mayor over a personal/private dispute, she breached that condition hoping and expecting to gain advantage since there is no other reason for her to use her title.

"Had this just been a mistake from a new councillor, or if she had just used her title of councillor, i would not be raising this matter with you as one has to exercise some common-sense and reasonableness in councillors’ conduct.”

A Worcester City Council spokesman said: “I can confirm we have received a complaint from Cllr Alan Amos. We do not comment on individual complaints.”

Cllr Hodges also declined to comment on the accusation.