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Local authority takes its own councillor to court over buy to let property

A London local authority has taken court action against one of its own councillors who has admitted failing to carry out necessary improvement works to a home he lets out.

The Ham & High local newspaper in Camden reports that Jonny Bucknell - a councillor since 2010 and at one time the Conservatives’ housing spokesman on the authority - has pleaded guilty to the charge at Highbury Magistrates Court, but asked for more time to prepare a statement of mitigating circumstances before sentencing.

The report says Bucknell admitted not making required improvements to his property in Primrose Hill.

It is alleged that he was first ordered to make improvements to the flat in August 2014 but failed to comply with the improvement notice within the required period of time.

Bucknell - who represented himself in court - said he initially intended to plead not guilty, but changed his mind at the last minute. He is reported to have told the court that there were “significant mitigating circumstances” which, because of his change of plea, would take some time to prepare for presentation to the court.

He will appear for sentencing before Highbury magistrates later this week.

The Ham & High report is here.

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