Tory who didn’t pay to park quits from council

Former Horsham District Councillor Andrew Dunlop - submitted picture
Former Horsham District Councillor Andrew Dunlop - submitted picture

A high flying Conservative councillor who hit the headlines exactly a year ago when he apologised unreservedly for not paying to park his Jaguar in a Horsham District Council car park has quit.

At the time, Andrew Dunlop said he would repay the money and offered to be referred to the council’s own standards board after a County Times investigation revealed that on a limited number of occasions when he was not on council business his car was parked in an HDC car park adjacent to the council’s offices.

He said when we broke the story: “When it was brought to my attention by a council officer that car passes should only be used exclusively on council business, I immediately refrained from using this car park.”

Our story made national headlines because the car parking incidents occurred while he was working at No 10 Downing Street as a special adviser to David Cameron on Scottish devolution.

He repaid the money, £52.50, in full and was subsequently sent for training in relation to the council’s rules regarding the use of car park permits but the council’s watchdog committee said his case should not be referred for local investigation.

Last week, it was announced that Mr Dunlop had given up his council seat for business reasons - less than two years after being elected.

There is no suggestion that his decision was linked to last year’s car parking controversy, but although we invited him to comment further on his reasons we did not receive a reply from him or the leader of the council Ray Dawe before going to press.