NO action will be taken against a former Eastleigh mayor who was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on a 12-year-old girl at a community protest.

Glynn Davies-Dear, who is still an Eastleigh councillor, was accused of assaulting the girl after tempers boiled among a crowd, angry at council plans for a £1.5m revamp of the town's Grantham Green.

After the alleged incident, Cllr Davies-Dear voluntarily attended Eastleigh police station to help officers with their inquires where he was arrested and released on police bail.

Now he has been told there is no case to answer.

A police spokesman said: "He has been released without charge due to insufficient evidence."

The 61-year-old had always protested his innocence and today, in an exclusive statement to the Daily Echo, he said: "I am of course happy with the police decision not to take this matter any further.

"It has not been a pleasant experience but I can say I never doubted that justice would prevail.

"I wish to place on record that the investigating officers of Eastleigh police conducted their inquiry in a wholly professional manner.

"I want to thank them for their courtesy and the sensitivity and kindness they displayed throughout. We can be very proud and confident in our town's police force."

He said the accusation had been ridiculous and unbelievable.

Plans to redevelop Grantham Green, which has been used by generations of schoolchildren, have been controversial.

The council claims money raised from selling off part of the land would be ploughed back into the community and that just a fraction of the site would be used for affordable homes.

Banner-waving residents turned out in force to express their concerns about the proposals.

Cllr Davies-Dear said: "I was saddened that a consultation with residents on a proposal to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds turning Grantham Green into a modern leisure area, better able to serve the community but at the cost of creating 48 much-needed flats, should have been hijacked."

He added: "People were cynically fed fear-generating rumours, half-truths and downright lies."

Cllr Davies-Dear also spoke of his deep gratitude for the many messages of support and encouragement he had received over the past few weeks.