A GLAZEBURY man has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds after fraudulently claiming £2,260 in council tax support – despite having more than £30,000 of savings.

Warrington Borough Council's investigators found that Stephen Wardle, of Warrington Road, had fraudulently claimed £2,260.91 in council tax support in total.

Wardle, 39, appeared at Warrington Magistrates' Court and pleaded guilty to two charges of council tax support fraud.

The court heard that he submitted a claim for council tax support to the authority and on the claim form stated that he did not have any savings or investments, when in fact he had a capital sum in excess of £37,000.

He also failed to declare – either at the date of his claim for tax support or subsequently – that he was receiving income from another source.

Wardle fraudulently claimed £2260.91 in council tax support and £305 in discretionary council tax payments.

In addition to repaying the amounts to the council, the court sentenced him to 210 hours of unpaid work, reduced from 300 because of his early guilty plea.

He will also have to pay £250 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Cllr Russ Bowden, executive board member for corporate finance, said: "It's disgraceful that people try to take advantage of benefits designed to help those who are struggling to pay their bills.

"While our investigations team continue to crack down on those abusing the system we would encourage people with a genuine need to apply for the help we can offer."

To report benefit fraud call 0800 854 440 or visit warrington.gov.uk.