WEYMOUTH and Portland Borough councillor Christine James has been charged with assault and is due to appear in court next month.

Her alleged victim is believed to be her husband of 19 years and borough council colleague, Ian James.

Mrs James, 51, who represents Westham North and is the authority’s transport and infrastructure spokesman, was arrested and charged with the offence earlier this month.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Mrs James, will appear before Weymouth Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 9, to answer a single charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The spokesman refused to confirm the name of her alleged victim.

A Dorset Police spokesman confirmed that Mrs James was arrested on Monday, August 16, and subsequently charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Beside her council duties, Mrs James is an advanced driving instructor and runs a driving school in Weymouth.

She was first elected to the borough council in 2004 and sits on the authority’s planning and traffic and management committees and on a number of other public bodies.

The Liberal Democrat councillor has previously spoken in favour of keeping Weymouth’s refuge for battered women.

At a borough council meeting earlier this month, she said that campaigners from the Friends of Weymouth Refuge had ‘proven that a refuge like this is both relevant and needed.’ She added: “People feel emotional about it and so they should.”

The borough council’s website lists Coun Christine James’ representation on outside bodies as including the Westham Comm-unity Orientated Problem Solving (COPS) group and Partners and Communities Together (PACT).

The website states she also represents the Sanderson Wells Confidential Assistance fund, the Southill Youth Centre management committee, Wessex Water Southern customer liaison panel, the Joint Member Transport Liaison Group, Weymouth Museum and the Weymouth and Portland Partner-ship accessibility theme group.

Mrs James, of Norfolk Road, Weymouth, lists her hobbies online as rowing and sport.

In her biography section she calls for ‘traffic calming schemes for more areas’.

She adds: “Would like to see less litter and dog fouling. Recycling in more areas. More play areas for youngsters of all ages. Maybe a mentor of (sic) buddy system set up in known trouble spots.”

Her register of interests shows she is a member of the South Dorset Driving Instructors Association and the Motor Schools Association.

Like his wife, Coun Ian James, of Overbury Close, Lanehouse, has been on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for the last six years, serving as the authority’s community safety spokesman, and sits on the council’s licensing and management committees and the port health authority.

The Conservative councillor is a champion for the Weymouth and Portland Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum and sits on the Community Safety Partnership.

He is also a representative for the Westham Benevolent Fund and the Weymouth and Portland Partner-ship’s safer, stronger communities theme group and lists his hobbies as rowing, car maintenance and DIY.

Ian James’ register of interests shows he is a member of the Royal Naval Association and a director of Milsom Industrial Design and Aviation Training International Ltd. Mr and Mrs James also co-own Café Royal on The Esplanade.

Both Coun Christine James and her husband, who represents the Westham East ward, have declined to comment on the forthcoming court hearing. The couple are believed to have separated around two months ago.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council also declined to comment.