Council leader speaks as allowances increase row continues to rage

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Wiltshire Council leader  Jane Scott has now defended the big rise in councillors’ allowances which were approved in November Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott has now defended the big rise in councillors’ allowances which were approved in November

HUGE increases in councillors’ allowances were defended by Coun Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, for the first time yesterday, following weeks of silence.

During November’s full council meeting, members voted in favour of the recommendations by the Independent Remuneration Panel, which has seen Coun Scott’s allowances increase by nearly 40 per cent a year from £37,335 to £52,227.

Cabinet members’ allowances increased by at least 22 per cent, rising from £15,101 to £18,433 a year, while councillors’ basic allowances went up by one per cent to £12,289 a year.

The move caused public outrage and prompted business consultant Paul Gaunt to set up a petition calling for Coun Scott and her cabinet to resign, which has received over 2,000 signatures.

However, Coun Scott says that the allowances rise was justified.

In her first public statement on the issue, she said: “We are working in a more efficient way, but that does put an awful lot of pressure on all of us, both members and officers in the organisation, to deliver.

“The independent panel looked at that and they made their recommendation and I think it’s only right for the good running of the council in the future that we take that recommendation, because they thought what they put forward four years ago was wrong.”

She said: “If you compare the leader, for example, in Wiltshire – with nearly half a million people and a budget of nearly a billion – to Bath & North East Somerset with a leader that gets more than that with about a third of the number of people, you can understand why, when they compared, they said they got it wrong.

“They wanted to make it right, not for me, but for the people who come after me.”

During the summer, the council ran a voluntary redundancy programme in which 252 front-line staff decided to leave the organisation.

Seven of the council's 18 associate directors took voluntary redundancy, while the remaining associate directors saw their wages rise on average by 7.5 per cent.

Mr Gaunt said: “Councillor Scott’s comments just show how out of touch she is with the council tax and business rate payers of Wiltshire, while they are facing such harsh economic times.

“The current controversy surrounding the MPs’ pay rise pales in significance when compared to this allowances rise and I would urge anyone who feels strongly to sign the petition.”

Comments (12)

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4:38pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Yer Tis says...

Madam,

YOU had the right to decline this on a personal level, additionally YOU as the leader of the Council can show due regard for leading by example.

YOU had those options, YOU chose not to exercise them.

Madam, you have now shown the people of Wiltshire what this is about PURE GREED.

Please do not insult the good people of Wiltshire by insinuating that this is about best choice or doing what it right. We are not stupid!
Madam, YOU had the right to decline this on a personal level, additionally YOU as the leader of the Council can show due regard for leading by example. YOU had those options, YOU chose not to exercise them. Madam, you have now shown the people of Wiltshire what this is about PURE GREED. Please do not insult the good people of Wiltshire by insinuating that this is about best choice or doing what it right. We are not stupid! Yer Tis

4:54pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Fluffy peppa says...

Yer Tis wrote:
Madam,

YOU had the right to decline this on a personal level, additionally YOU as the leader of the Council can show due regard for leading by example.

YOU had those options, YOU chose not to exercise them.

Madam, you have now shown the people of Wiltshire what this is about PURE GREED.

Please do not insult the good people of Wiltshire by insinuating that this is about best choice or doing what it right. We are not stupid!
Exactly
[quote][p][bold]Yer Tis[/bold] wrote: Madam, YOU had the right to decline this on a personal level, additionally YOU as the leader of the Council can show due regard for leading by example. YOU had those options, YOU chose not to exercise them. Madam, you have now shown the people of Wiltshire what this is about PURE GREED. Please do not insult the good people of Wiltshire by insinuating that this is about best choice or doing what it right. We are not stupid![/p][/quote]Exactly Fluffy peppa

11:32am Fri 13 Dec 13

Yanziboom says...

Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference?
Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference? Yanziboom

4:29pm Fri 13 Dec 13

kimcrawley says...

The worst aspect of all of this is the actual ability of this woman and her cohorts. Could they let us know what professional qualifications they have to make the decisions that affect thousands of people.
Or is it that they are following a particular tory dogma that hates public servants and insists that organisations run by their major donors such as G4S SERCO et al are far more efficient and cost effective.
Not one privatised or outsourced service has ever been improved for us 'customers'. Friends of the Consevative party have made bucket loads of cash at our expense for years.
No doubt she will keep her snout in the trough.
The worst aspect of all of this is the actual ability of this woman and her cohorts. Could they let us know what professional qualifications they have to make the decisions that affect thousands of people. Or is it that they are following a particular tory dogma that hates public servants and insists that organisations run by their major donors such as G4S SERCO et al are far more efficient and cost effective. Not one privatised or outsourced service has ever been improved for us 'customers'. Friends of the Consevative party have made bucket loads of cash at our expense for years. No doubt she will keep her snout in the trough. kimcrawley

7:44pm Fri 13 Dec 13

MDP says...

G and H, by trying to bury this story, you are losing the initiative to the Wiltshire Times, where there is a lively debate going on. Do you really think that 'JR terrier wee shock horror' or 'vicar's Santa Claus gaffe' are the most important issues to report to the good people of Wiltshire? You are insulting us.
G and H, by trying to bury this story, you are losing the initiative to the Wiltshire Times, where there is a lively debate going on. Do you really think that 'JR terrier wee shock horror' or 'vicar's Santa Claus gaffe' are the most important issues to report to the good people of Wiltshire? You are insulting us. MDP

8:48pm Fri 13 Dec 13

shed says...

"Burying the story" is spot on,does the Gazette have a different editor to the Wiltshire Times, where, as has been mentioned this story tops the most commented list whereas the peeing jack Russell is still tops for the Gazette yet lags well behind.

I am now convinced that the editor of this paper has some ulterior reason for playing it down.

Jane Scott and Co will keep their snouts in this particular trough until they are dragged out.
Keep the pressure up, 2400 sigs so far.

https://you.38degree
s.org.uk/petitions/r
esignation-of-leader
-and-cabinet-of-wilt
shire-council
"Burying the story" is spot on,does the Gazette have a different editor to the Wiltshire Times, where, as has been mentioned this story tops the most commented list whereas the peeing jack Russell is still tops for the Gazette yet lags well behind. I am now convinced that the editor of this paper has some ulterior reason for playing it down. Jane Scott and Co will keep their snouts in this particular trough until they are dragged out. Keep the pressure up, 2400 sigs so far. https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/r esignation-of-leader -and-cabinet-of-wilt shire-council shed

1:48pm Sat 14 Dec 13

shed says...

the other article with 49 comments has been buried in the archives, leaving only this one with 6 comments.
What is going on at the Gazette? who is leaning on them?
why have comments on that article been stopped?

the other article is at .

http://www.gazettean
dherald.co.uk/archiv
e/2013/12/11/1086978
9.Leader_in_public_d
efence_of_Wiltshire_
Council_allowances_r
ise/
the other article with 49 comments has been buried in the archives, leaving only this one with 6 comments. What is going on at the Gazette? who is leaning on them? why have comments on that article been stopped? the other article is at . http://www.gazettean dherald.co.uk/archiv e/2013/12/11/1086978 9.Leader_in_public_d efence_of_Wiltshire_ Council_allowances_r ise/ shed

4:55pm Sun 15 Dec 13

kimcrawley says...

The great champions of freedom - the conservative party have more in common with North Korea than democracy. Why be surprised that this story is hidden after all the odious Coun. Scott was honoured for butchering public services and staging a coup to take control. She is only obeying the orders of the most incompetent lying chancellor to date. Do not forget this unelected minority government is pledging to reduce the size of the state and public spending in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthy.
The increase in allowances is just a little reward for the foot soldiers of an ideology that preys on the weak in our society.
I am equally sure that Osborne, Scott and slimy Cameron would like people
to be tried by a military tribunal and shot for questioning their bizarre approach to 'caring' and economic recovery.
The great champions of freedom - the conservative party have more in common with North Korea than democracy. Why be surprised that this story is hidden after all the odious Coun. Scott was honoured for butchering public services and staging a coup to take control. She is only obeying the orders of the most incompetent lying chancellor to date. Do not forget this unelected minority government is pledging to reduce the size of the state and public spending in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthy. The increase in allowances is just a little reward for the foot soldiers of an ideology that preys on the weak in our society. I am equally sure that Osborne, Scott and slimy Cameron would like people to be tried by a military tribunal and shot for questioning their bizarre approach to 'caring' and economic recovery. kimcrawley

9:04pm Sun 15 Dec 13

shed says...

As long as the sheep keep voting for the lib-lab-con trick nothing will change.
As long as the sheep keep voting for the lib-lab-con trick nothing will change. shed

10:18am Thu 19 Dec 13

Paul Tucker says...

Yanziboom wrote:
Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference?
Not sure but where I work, and have worked, allowances have/had to be accounted for, i.e. receipts etc. I suspect that in the cosy world of local government, this has now been blurred so it is, effectively, a salary - who's going to check the boss's expenses anyway?
[quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference?[/p][/quote]Not sure but where I work, and have worked, allowances have/had to be accounted for, i.e. receipts etc. I suspect that in the cosy world of local government, this has now been blurred so it is, effectively, a salary - who's going to check the boss's expenses anyway? Paul Tucker

11:36am Thu 19 Dec 13

lordbuckethead says...

Yanziboom wrote:
Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference?
In a word, tax. Councillors don't like paying it.
[quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: Why is it an "allowance" and not a salary? What's the difference?[/p][/quote]In a word, tax. Councillors don't like paying it. lordbuckethead

11:38am Thu 19 Dec 13

lordbuckethead says...

Lovely picture. Smile Jane!!!! think of all that lovely money!!! (how many cake will it buy?)
Lovely picture. Smile Jane!!!! think of all that lovely money!!! (how many cake will it buy?) lordbuckethead

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