Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott has again refused to respond to critics angry over the council’s decision to increase its members’ allowances.

Over 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for Cllr Scott and her cabinet to resign, after an independent committee’s recommendation to increase allowances for all members was approved.


The decision came only weeks after 252 council staff were made redundant, and as all council employees face a one per cent pay freeze.

The Wiltshire Times has repeatedly asked to speak to Cllr Scott, but was only given a statement from a council spokesman.

It said: “As this was a decision of full council and one that is based on posts and not people, it is not appropriate for Jane Scott to comment.

“This was a decision made by full council and will impact on every Wiltshire Councillor, regardless of their political party.

“Allowances are allocated to the posts and not the councillors who currently hold those positions.

“A councillor can choose to accept or not accept the increase in allowance."

The council leader will see her personal allowance rise by 36.5 per cent a year, affording her an additional £14,892 on her current £37,335, which covers her position as council leader and chairman of the health and wellbeing board.

Taxpayer Paul Gaunt, a business consultant from Broughton Gifford, set up an online petition calling for the resignation of the cabinet 12 days ago (as of Friday), and has been shocked by the response.

He said: “The emails I am getting are saying they agree something needs to happen, and this is a step too far in these current austere times.

“However the council has said it will need around 1,150 signatures before it can be discussed at a meeting, which is a lot more than other local councils.”

Mr Gaunt’s petition can be found at http://www.wehavesolutions.co.uk/