Leading campaigner vows to continue fight against rises

Bid to overturn Wiltshire councillors' allowance increases fails

Campaigners Paul Gaunt, Mike White and Allan Stellard with the petition against the rise in allowances for Wiltshire councillors

Wiltshire councillors at today's extraordinary meeting

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott

First published in Latest News
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The latest bid to overturn the controversial allowance increases for Wiltshire councillors failed this today, after it was resoundingly rejected in a heated meeting.

Independent councillor Jeff Osborn had called for the decision to approve allowance rises for councillors to be scrapped, but 60 councillors voted in favour of keeping the rises, with 24 supporting his motion.

Six councillors abstained from voting in the meeting, which went on for over two hours.

In November an independent panel recommended increases of one per cent for all councillors, and 22 per cent for cabinet members.

As leader of the Conservative group and chair of the health and wellbeing committee, council Leader Jane Scott was in line for a 36 per cent increase, which she confirmed last month she would be returning.

But at the meeting she spoke strongly in favour of keeping the rise for other members.

She said: “I did make this decision after a long night of soul-searching. It was being personalised to me, and this council was suffering seriously.

“However I will not vote to rescind that decision, that decision is correct for this council.

"It was a decision made by this council democratically, with good, strong evidence from an independent panel.

“Many councillors have never taken allowances, and that is their personal decision.”

Liberal Democrat leader Jon Hubbard abstained in the final vote, but spoke in defence of the increase.

He said: “I am a net beneficiary from this increase in salaries because I am chair of two committees of this council.

“I work on average somewhere between 50 and 55 hours per week. I am in council three days a week from 8.30am to 6.30am, and I spend weekends out in my ward with my constituents. All this I do as a councillor and I do it with pleasure.

"Today we have seen some councillors having their day who care more about headlines than hard work. Now that's over can the rest of us get on with doing the real work at council."

After the meeting, Coun Osborn said: “We will fight on, I and others will be meeting over the next few days to decide our next move.

“If Jane Scott thinks she has won the day she should watch this space.”

Comments (7)

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9:11pm Tue 4 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Thanks MUST go out to Paul Gaunt and the other GENUINE People in Wiltshire who DO care about our County and the way it is NOT being run.......

To be clear to Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab", the Petition was NEVER a Political one but one for the People to have THEIR say......

Any Challenges that came from non Conservative Councillors show that at least, they ARE earning the Trust and Allowances that the People of Wiltshire expect of them and pay them to help us all.....

Jeff Osborn and Terry Chivers hearts ARE in the right place...shame that a few more Councillors don't have the decency to work for their Allowances instead of sitting on their expanding bottoms and "tittle tattling" behind their hands ??..

With a bit of Luck, perhaps a National Newspaper can NOW pick up on the appalling behaviour they witnessed at County Hall today ?....
Thanks MUST go out to Paul Gaunt and the other GENUINE People in Wiltshire who DO care about our County and the way it is NOT being run....... To be clear to Ms Scott and her "Cons-Cab", the Petition was NEVER a Political one but one for the People to have THEIR say...... Any Challenges that came from non Conservative Councillors show that at least, they ARE earning the Trust and Allowances that the People of Wiltshire expect of them and pay them to help us all..... Jeff Osborn and Terry Chivers hearts ARE in the right place...shame that a few more Councillors don't have the decency to work for their Allowances instead of sitting on their expanding bottoms and "tittle tattling" behind their hands ??.. With a bit of Luck, perhaps a National Newspaper can NOW pick up on the appalling behaviour they witnessed at County Hall today ?.... brasstacks
  • Score: 9

12:04am Wed 5 Feb 14

chippenhamgedd says...

The only thing democratic about this failure was that the people were voting for it not to happen.
The only thing democratic about this failure was that the people were voting for it not to happen. chippenhamgedd
  • Score: -2

7:32am Wed 5 Feb 14

lokalgirl says...

Greedy greedy people, when so many people are struggling. How many cuts will have to be made to fund this extravagance? Shame on you.
Greedy greedy people, when so many people are struggling. How many cuts will have to be made to fund this extravagance? Shame on you. lokalgirl
  • Score: 7

10:11am Wed 5 Feb 14

Grumpyoldgit99 says...

The implication from Jon Hubbard's statement is that as he works hard he deserves the increase. The converse implication is that the staff at county hall don't work hard and therefore don't deserve an increase.
The implication from Jon Hubbard's statement is that as he works hard he deserves the increase. The converse implication is that the staff at county hall don't work hard and therefore don't deserve an increase. Grumpyoldgit99
  • Score: 8

12:46pm Wed 5 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Cllr Christine Crisp's Comments to The Western Daily Press ARE appalling.....

To try to insinuate that the Petition is not genuine or properly organised IS an insult to those of us in Wiltshire who DO bide by "Rules" UNLIKE Jane Scott and her "Cons-Cab".....

ANYONE, ANYWHERE CAN SIGN A 38 DEGREES PETITION..

There IS more than 1 "jane scott" in the World and quite likely, there MAY well be a "jane scott" living in Wiltshire who is NOT '"Cllr, Jane Scott".....

Suggest Cllr Crisp that rather than go a self chosen apathetic and childish Narcissistic 'route", you apply yourself FULLY to earning the Allowances that WE all pay you ??.....

We do NOT pay you to be Publically derogatory... we pay you to be Democratic and act FOR he People and NOT the Conservative Party
Cllr Christine Crisp's Comments to The Western Daily Press ARE appalling..... To try to insinuate that the Petition is not genuine or properly organised IS an insult to those of us in Wiltshire who DO bide by "Rules" UNLIKE Jane Scott and her "Cons-Cab"..... ANYONE, ANYWHERE CAN SIGN A 38 DEGREES PETITION.. There IS more than 1 "jane scott" in the World and quite likely, there MAY well be a "jane scott" living in Wiltshire who is NOT '"Cllr, Jane Scott"..... Suggest Cllr Crisp that rather than go a self chosen apathetic and childish Narcissistic 'route", you apply yourself FULLY to earning the Allowances that WE all pay you ??..... We do NOT pay you to be Publically derogatory... we pay you to be Democratic and act FOR he People and NOT the Conservative Party brasstacks
  • Score: 3

7:43pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Michael2014 says...

What a sad state of affairs when a petition presented by members of the public is treated with such disrespect.
In the first instance by Madame Chair who no one could accuse of impartiality, and then by elected Tory councillors.
Shame on those arrogant and unheeding Tory councillors who apparently feel they are above questioning.
What a sad state of affairs when a petition presented by members of the public is treated with such disrespect. In the first instance by Madame Chair who no one could accuse of impartiality, and then by elected Tory councillors. Shame on those arrogant and unheeding Tory councillors who apparently feel they are above questioning. Michael2014
  • Score: 3

3:36pm Thu 6 Feb 14

daryl1957 says...

Just a shame too many people are fearful of withholding their council tax, that would be direct action.....I withhold my council tax, not on purpose, just struggle to keep up with the payments because I have an erratic income, being freelance. Why can these public servants not see that the vast majority of people are really struggling with everyday finances and would love a ridiculous expense account..........
Just a shame too many people are fearful of withholding their council tax, that would be direct action.....I withhold my council tax, not on purpose, just struggle to keep up with the payments because I have an erratic income, being freelance. Why can these public servants not see that the vast majority of people are really struggling with everyday finances and would love a ridiculous expense account.......... daryl1957
  • Score: 3

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