COUNCILLOR Seve Gomez-Aspron has stepped down from his position on St Helens Council's cabinet - after just a week in post.

After being appointed by council leader Barrie Grunewald as the authority's cabinet member for growth, the Newton-le-willows Labour councillor has resigned and it is believed Cllr John Fulham - who he replaced - will return to the position.

Cllr Gomez-Aspron's was appointed to the role during a dramatic cabinet reshuffle last week, when Cllr Grunewald wielded the axe on several members of his cabinet following a leadership challenge.

Deputy council leader Andy Bowden, Cllr Richard McCauley and Cllr John Fulham - who mounted bids - all lost their jobs, along with Cllr Anthony Burns and Cllr Jeanie Bell, who is believed to have stepped down.

Cllr Gomez-Aspron's appointment sparked an outcry from campaigners - who are opposed to plans to release green belt land across the borough for the construction of homes and industrial sites.

Cllr Gomez-Aspron, an outspoken politician on social media, has clashed repeatedly with those campaigning against the proposed developments on green belt.

Rainford Action Group accused Cllr Grunewald of "a provocative act" after installing Cllr Gomez-Aspron as portfolio member for growth - which includes responsibility for the controversial Draft Local Plan.

Cllr Gomex-Aspron said: "I have many things going on in my personal life this year and don't want to commit to something I don't have the time to focus on properly, so I feel it is important to step aside before it is formalised at full council tomorrow.

"Before I had the portfolio, I gave vocal support to the Local Plan and other planning applications. It is not fair on the council that the objections that this has attracted should overshadow the delivery of an ambitious Local Plan that this council deserves.

"There will also be some important developments in Newton this coming year and it is only fair on residents that I concentrate on them fully."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Cllr Gomez-Aspron was served with an official notice by police which set out an allegation of harassment against him.

The councillor alleged the complainant has a "history of harassing both myself and my family in a personal capacity in no way related to the council" and said he would be seeking legal advice.

In January 2015, he was found to have used grossly offensive language to a resident on Facebook by the council's Standards Committee.

Cllr Gomez-Aspron had ended a conversation with a woman on the social networking site by writing "See you next Tuesday", the committee was told. But the expression was abbreviated into text speak, using single capital letters for the first two words and a capital 'n' for 'next'. A report to the committee presented was told said the expression is widely known to be a euphemism for a derogatory four-letter word.

During the meeting, Cllr Gomez-Aspron, who was told to write a letter of apology, denied knowing that the expression meant anything offensive.