Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 11:39 UK

Drive ban councillor quits posts

Dumfries and Galloway Council building
Cllr Higgins is convener of the council's licensing committee

A councillor given a triple driving ban has resigned as SNP group leader and licensing board chairman.

However, Robert Higgins will continue to represent his Wigtown West ward on Dumfries and Galloway Council.

He was given three concurrent two-year bans and fined 900 at Stranraer Sheriff Court after admitting a series of driving offences at the weekend.

In a statement he said he deeply regretted the incidents and any damage done to the council and his party.

He confirmed he had resigned as both SNP group leader and licensing board chairman.

I apologise and have asked for the forgiveness of my family and friends
Cllr Robert Higgins

"I apologise to my constituents and assure them that I shall, as always, make every effort to continue to represent them to the best of my ability as a member of Dumfries and Galloway Council," he said.

"Any damage caused to the reputation of Dumfries and Galloway Council and the SNP is also deeply regretted.

"I apologise and have asked for the forgiveness of my family and friends."

Higgins was arrested on Saturday after crashing his car twice on the A75 within 100 yards.

He admitted driving without due care and attention and losing control of the car.

After demolishing a row of roadside marker posts, he veered across the road to the opposite carriageway and ploughed along the opposite verge before hitting a wire fence and stalling the car.

Concurrent bans

He pleaded guilty to a further charge of failing to stop after an accident and report his name and address to the owners of the property he had damaged.

He also admitted failing to provide two breath specimens to police.

A not guilty plea to a fourth charge of failing to report an accident was accepted by the procurator fiscal.

Cllr Higgins was fined 200 on the careless driving charge, 200 for failing to stop, and 500 for refusing to take a breath test.

He was also banned from driving for two years on each of the three charges, although the bans will run concurrently.

Triple driving ban for councillor
19 May 08 |  South of Scotland

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