A COUNCILLOR is fighting to clear his name amid accusations he sexually abused a teenage boy.

John Gage, a member of Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC), has already seen his dreams of high office in tatters after a police investigation was launched shortly before he was due to become deputy mayor of the Deane.

The ceremony to install the Mayor and her deputy went ahead without him after he hurriedly pulled out hours before it took place at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton last May.

At the time, he was quizzed at Taunton Police Station in connection with the allegations of historical abuse dating back around 20 years. He was released pending further investigations.

The exact nature of the allegations against Cllr Gage have not been revealed and the identity of his accuser, now in his 30s, has not be revealed.

Cllr Gage has not been arrested and denied the allegations after voluntarily attending the police interview.

But detectives have sent a file on the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who will decide whether to charge him or not.

Cllr Gage would not comment to the County Gazette.

His lawyer, Neal Gozzett, said: "Our client was not arrested by the police and has not been charged with any offences. He attended a voluntary interview and co-operated fully with the authorities.

"He provided a full denial in interview and no determination has been made by the CPS into the allegations."

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed a 48-year-old man had been interviewed, adding: "We can confirm we have completed our enquiries and have passed a file to CPS for them to consider prosecution."

A CPS spokesman said: "We have a file but there has been no charging decision made yet.

"We’re not able to say how long a charging decision will take, as there are a lot of factors that affect this."

Cllr Gage, who was 48 at the time of his police interview, is a Conservative who has represented the Pyrland and Rowbarton ward on Taunton Deane Borough Council since 2015.

It is unknown whether he intends to stand in May's election for the new Somerset West and Taunton Council following the merger of TDBC and West Somerset Council the previous month.

He is a logistics manager and surveyor with a removals and storage firm in North Devon.

He is a former student at Heathfield Community School and the former Somerset College of Art and Technology.

His profile on Taunton Deane Conservatives' website described him as "hugely passionate" about Taunton and says he manages to combine his work and council duties "seamlessly".

It adds: "John has a 'can' and 'will do' approach, with his vision to ensure Taunton maintains a formidable stronghold in Somerset in terms of new business stability, positive community involvement and activity, sustainable economic growth, and the infrastructure of the town remains prosperous."

A TDBC spokesman would not comment after Cllr Gage was interviewed by police.

However, records show he has only attended three council meetings since last May, although he is still legitimately claiming his £4,344 annual allowance.