Cornwall councillor Alex Folkes got court order to pay tax

image captionMr Folkes said his council tax would remain up to date

A senior Cornwall councillor did not pay council tax until magistrates ordered him to hand over nearly £800, BBC Cornwall has learned.

In September 2010, Launceston councillor and deputy Liberal Democrat group leader Alex Folkes was made the subject of a liability order.

Mr Folkes said he had could not pay because of hardship and apologised.

Last August, Cornwall Council said a total of 17 councillors were sent reminders about unpaid council tax.

On four other occasions the council had to go to court to force other councillors to make payments.

Councillor Folkes, who remains at the council, did not pay council tax between March and September 2010, documents show.

He was sent reminders in March, April and May 2010 before being issued with a liability order in September that year.

Magistrates in Bodmin ordered him to pay £793.62, including costs.

He said he did not pay purely out of hardship, but acknowledged that his actions were "completely wrong".

He said: "It was wrong of me. I didn't pay my council tax. I didn't prioritise it.

"I apologise to the people of Launceston and Cornwall that I've let them down, but I'm now up to date, and I intend to remain up to date."

He said he did not intend to resign over the issue.

Last August, Cornwall Council said there were 17 members out of the 123-strong Conservative-Independent run unitary authority were sent council tax reminders.

The council has not named any of them, citing data protection laws. It has also not commented on how long it took for Mr Folkes' court case to be made public.

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