A TOWN council has started legal action against its controversial ex-mayor to recover £4,835 of alleged 'misappropriated' funds.

At a meeting yesterday evening, Carterton Town Council announced it had instigated legal proceedings at the county court against former mayor Lynn Little, who left the role in May.

A council statement added that all attempts it had made to resolve the issue with Mrs Little had 'been rebuffed'.

Mrs Little is accused of paying the money out of the Mayor’s Allowance Account to non-charitable activities during 2015/16 and 2017.

The council alleges this included a donation of £4,000 to ‘Ted Little’s Veteran’s Home’, an organisation not registered with the charity commission, payments for civic functions and guests for the town's St George’s Day Dinner in 2017.

It was also announced that current mayor Martin McBride has agreed to donate £835 from his Mayor’s Allowance to local charities to make up part of this shortfall in the current mayoral year.

Mr McBride, who is also the council chairman, said: “The council has a duty to pursue alleged malfeasance in a public office by members of the council.

"The reputation of the council will be damaged if it allows funds to be misappropriated without taking appropriate legal action to attempt to recover them."

Mr McBride was unanimously chosen to take over from Mrs Little earlier this year.

Mrs Little was mayor for five years, but her final few months in the role were dogged by council infighting.