WHILE the nation’s gaze is on who will become our next Prime Minister, Wiltshire Council is having its own leadership battle.

As leader of Wiltshire Council they will take over from Baroness Jane Scott who has been group leader since the unitary authority first formed in 2009 and Wiltshire County Council leader since 2003.

The vote among Conservative councillors will take place on Tuesday. Whoever wins is expected to go on to be named leader of Wiltshire Council on July 9.

The vote to become leader of Wiltshire Council involves all remaining 94 councillors from all parties: however the Conservative majority on the authority means the Tory group leader is almost certain to take the role.

The leader of the Council is paid £33,657 as a special responsibility allowance on top of other basic allowance all councillors get of £12,926.97.

Philip Whitehead

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Who? Councillor for Urchfont and The Cannings Philip Whitehead has been part of Wiltshire Council since 2013 and became a cabinet member within a year of joining the unitary authority.

Attendance: WC attendance rate in the last six months of 92 per cent.

Why do you want to be leader? “I have always been political and had an interest in politics. I want to focus on community led services because we can feel very far away from communities in Wiltshire. We are very lucky to have our Area Boards and I want to see the community much more involved in decisions.”

Favourite food? Offering up his secret trick to the best crackling, (using a Stanley knife to score the meat before cranking up the heat) he decided his favourite food is roast pork, as well as pizza.

And TV? Although not a fan of TV, his favourite show is Car SOS.

Committee membership: Cabinet and Devizes Area Board (vice chairman)

Councillor allowance: £34,072.46

Stewart Wheeler

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Who: Councillor for Burbage and the Bedwyns, Stewart Wheeler joined Wiltshire Council when it formed in 2009. Before that he had been part of Kennet District Council since 2007.

Attendance: 95 per cent at Wiltshire Council run meetings for the last six months.

Why do you want to be leader? “The council needs to reach all areas of the county and be active in all parts of the county.

“I became a councillor because I wanted to help the community and it is something I enjoy doing. I like interacting with the parish councils and people, particularly because my area is so rural making sure their interests are properly promoted.”

Favourite food? Sirloin steak

Favourite TV show? Law and Order

Committee membership: Audit Committee, Constitution Focus Group, Electoral Review Committee, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee, Pewsey and Tidworth Area Committee, Pewsey Area Board and Standards Committee

Councillor allowance: £15,261.27

Richard Clewer

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Who? Councillor for Downton and Ebble Valley Richard Clewer joined Wiltshire Council when it formed in 2009 and is cabinet member for housing.

Attendance: 96 per cent attendance rate at WC meetings in the last six months.

Why do you want to be WC leader? “I gained a scholarship to go to private school as a child and ever since have wanted to give something back. I am a believer that we should leave the world a better place than we find it.

“Salisbury market place used to be a dingy car park but now it has come alive and I helped do that. We now have council housing and people in lifetime tenancies being able to live in their home and I helped make that happen. I want to deliver change.

“Local empowerment is really important through the devolution of services to towns to empower them to improve their area.”

Favourite food? Scallops -freshly caught

Favourite TV show? Game of Thrones.

Committee membership : Constitution Focus Group (chairman) Cabinet Electoral Review Committee (Chairman), Southern Wiltshire Area Board, Cabinet and Staffing Policy Committee

Councillor allowance: £36,912.45

Chuck Berry

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Who: Councillor for Minety Chuck Berry joined Wiltshire Council in 2009 and was a member of North Wiltshire District Council since 2007 where he spent time as a cabinet member.

Attendance: 57 per cent attendance rate at Wiltshire Council meetings in the last six months.

Why do you want to be WC leader? “We are living in relatively difficult times and Wiltshire has navigated through it relatively well. 60 per cent of our budget is spent on adult and children social care and we need to focus on how to do it really well, really efficiently and make sure the people who need the hep get it.

“There is a consensus across councillors to work for the people they represent. We have a responsibility to listen to all 98 councillors.”

Things you may not know about him: His favourite food is scones (cream first and then jam) and his favourite TV show is Columbo on a Saturday afternoon.

Committee membership: Health Select Committee (chairman), Malmesbury Area Board, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee and Northern Area Planning Committee

Councillor allowance: £30,672.92