LIB-DEM councillors have been accused of trying to claim the credit for getting a mobile phone mast application thrown out at Cove.

They sparked the row after distributing a leaflet which details the part they played - but fails to mention the residents' sterling campaign.

The leaflet - headed "About that Mast" - has provoked an angry response from Alan Chainey, spokesman for the Cove Action Group which spearheaded the objections.

Saying that the group was astounded at the Lib-Dem claims, he added: "You can imagine our shock and displeasure when we received the leaflet.

"It claims credit for all the hard work actually carried out by the people they are supposed to represent."

Mr Chainey said the attempt by mobile phone company Hutchinson G3 to site a 70ft tall mast at Cove Cricket Club was a local issue and not a political one.

"The residents of Cove and Southwood have shown their commitment to the local community by supporting the action group," he continued.

"Why should any political party be allowed to get away with such an obvious attempt to curry favour with the electorate?" The action group, he added, had delivered 1600 letters calling on residents to object to the scheme, and had submitted a 200-signature petition to the council.

Rushmoor councillor John Matthews, who is named as the publisher of the leaflet, said on Monday: "As far as I'm concerned it merely made known the facts surrounding the mast issue. I don't think we tried to claim any credit." Pointing out that Mr Chainey was an unsuccessful Tory candidate at May's borough council elections, Mr Matthews added: "He's trying to make a name for himself for political gain."