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Jane Scott gets peerage

August 27, 2015 4:39 PM

Congratulations are due to the leader of Wiltshire Council, Jane Scott, on her appointment as a life peer. This is part of the government's decision to increase the number of people in the House of Lords. Here's a message from Jane to WC staff:

"You may be aware that today David Cameron has announced the appointments to the House of Lords and I am pleased to confirm that I have been appointed as a Life Peer.

I see this as a great honour for Wiltshire and I am very much looking forward to taking up this position.

The wealth of experience that I have gained in local government and the public sector; particularly as both the leader of the former Wiltshire County Council and Wiltshire Council since 2009, will assist me in this role and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that this peerage will bring.

I would like to update you all that I have no plans to stand down as leader of the council and will be continuing to work with my cabinet members, senior management team and all of you to deliver the important projects and programmes of work that will improve the services and facilities that we provide to the people of Wiltshire.

A big thank you to all of you for your support over the years.

Jane Scott"

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Comment - "I'd like to add my personal congratulations to Jane on this exciting appointment. Since Wiltshire Council was created central government has been making the job of the council more difficult with repeated budgetary cuts and impositions, so it will be good to have someone in Westminster who understands the problems of local councils and will have the opportunity to put the case for Wiltshire. As a relatively youthful member of the House I'm sure Jane will make an impact. I would however question her decision to remain as leader of Wiltshire Council. There are already too many disconnected peers who just turn up for their attendance money. Whilst the institution remains its members should at least take it seriously. And surely there are at least one or two Conservative councillors in Wiltshire who would be capable of doing the job of Leader of Council?" - Trevor Carbin.

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A message from Jeff Osborn: "It is September and County Hall is abuzz with political gossip - especially amongst the Conservatives. Many issues are vying for urgent attention. Just to touch on a few: potential fracking in four Wiltshire sites, the abrupt ending of the Balfour Beatty contract, the latest round of bus service cuts, apprehension over further central government austerity with yet more local redundancies and hacking back of essential services. However, none of these are the number one topic.

No, instead it is the elevation of Jane Scott to the peerage. The talk is increasingly of Jane Two Jobs. For it appears that as well as becoming a working Conservative peer, she is determined to maintain her position as Leader of Wiltshire Council.

There is much speculation as to the reason for this dangerous decision. Some say it is just pure greed, others that there is a paucity of talent and ambition amongst Conservative councillors. Or it could be that the group is split with deadly rivalry and enmity, so much so that no one member can garner sufficient support. Doubtless there are further considerations, but the fundamental problem is that in the coming weeks Wiltshire Council has to make all manner of important decisions. This is hardly the time for part time leadership.

One wonders if David Cameron really considered the outcome of his peerage decision as it affects the people of Wiltshire."

Jeff Osborn, Independent Wiltshire Councillor.

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And here is an opinion from the Salisbury Journal