ONE of Swindon's best known and longest serving councillors has been arrested on suspicion of kerb crawling.

Coun David Glaholm, who recently left the Labour Party to become an independent, was stopped by police in the town's red light district on Sunday night.

The 60-year-old former mayor was found in Manchester Road and taken to Gablecross police station where he was questioned and released on bail pending further inquiries.

He is due to return to the station at a later date.

Yesterday the blinds at the Penhill councillor's three-storey home in Granica Close, Haydon End, were all closed.

He said: "I don't want to say too much, other than, yes an incident occurred and I will be robustly defending my actions.

"I am hoping that the thing will be cleared up without any legal action."

Pensioners John and Jo McCue run Street Watch and scour the streets of Broad Green every night, making notes of prostitutes' activities and passing them on to the police.

John, 74, said: "Having the prostitutes here is degrading for the residents, who don't want them here.

"A lot of the girls out there are not only trying to earn money for themselves, some of them have got pimps to earn money for.

"If people didn't use the prostitutes they would have to go elsewhere."

Father-of-two Coun Glaholm has been married for more than 30 years.

He has been a councillor for 36 years, but in May he quit the Labour Party to become an independent.

He said he had been thinking about resigning for a number of weeks and his mind was made up when he was called an enemy of the party for criticising Government Minister Ruth Kelly over a lack of housing policy.

Coun Glaholm was first elected in 1971. He became a member of Wiltshire County Council in 1979 before being elected to Thamesdown Council in 1989.

He was born in County Durham in 1947 and became Mayor of Thamesdown in May 1994. He said then it was one of the proudest moments of his life.

He is a member of the Health Scrutiny Committee, the Public Toilets Task Group, the Licensing Committee, the Licensing Panel and is the chairman of the Scrutiny Committee.

Coun Glaholm has always been outspoken in his years as a councillor.

In May he criticised the council for the length of time it took to get an Asbo for a 15-year-old tearaway in his area.

He has also criticised the new Headlands Academy being built in Pinehurst as he said it was too far for children from Penhill.

And he has called for all dogs in Swindon to be kept on leads in public places.

In November 2004 he called for a debate on sex shops.

Swindon still does not have a shop licensed to sell R18 videos and Coun Glaholm said at the time: "It is time to have an open debate. If people want to buy this kind of material they should be able to."