“HE ISN’T a councillor”

This was the message from Wellow Parish Council, after a former member was still portraying himself as a councillor six months after resigning from the role.

In the unprecedented move, the authority claims it had “no choice” but to inform residents after Harmeet Singh Brar refused to change his website and social media pages which indicated he was still an active member.

The council even claims that he told it to “make me”, after it emailed him on March 6 about the issue.

The authority added that the Liberal Democrat member was also telling residents that he still held the seat, despite stepping down in August last year amid accusations he was bullying and harassing members of the Conservative Party.

Council chiefs branded Mr Brar’s actions as a “gross misrepresentation of the facts” and said that he left them in an “untenable position”.

However, the former councillor said it was “an oversight on my end” and that he “did not notice which e-mail address was on display”.

Disputing the council’s claims, he added: “As soon as this was brought to my attention I immediately removed it.”

But the authority says Mr Brar didn’t change his details until its public post was published and he was contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

That decision to inform locals about the issue was made after the authority’s Full Council meeting earlier this month.

The council’s clerk, Sharon Whitehouse, added that she “felt the residents deserved to know”. 

In its statement, the council said: “Mr Brar was contacted by the Parish Council on March 6 and requested to amend all of his social media accounts with immediate effect to reflect the current and truthful position – that he is not a parish councillor for Wellow.

“Regrettably Mr Brar has refused to comply with this request leaving the Parish Council with no alternative but to inform the residents of Wellow of this situation itself and confirm that Mr Harmeet Singh Brar is not a Wellow parish councillor, nor has he been since the beginning of September 2018.”

The Test Valley Lib Dems did not wish to comment on the issue as Mr Brar had publicly apologised.