More and more Tories having second thoughts about the rise in Wiltshire council allowances
Members of the ruling Conservative group on Wiltshire Council will have the chance to reverse the decision to increase the allowances of up to 37 per cent to Councillor Jane Scott and her Cabinet members on February 4.
A notice of motion put forward by some members of the council’s Independent group now has cross party support from members of the Labour and Lib Dem groups.
When these increases were voted through, not one single members of the Conservative group voted against the increases choosing to follow the party whip, to give Jane Scott and her “Magic Circle” these eye-watering increases.
However, talking to some members of the ruling Conservatives it’s clear that more and more of their members, are having second thoughts after the public outcry after the last vote, not to mention the fact that they have come under attack from leading Conservatives, Brandon Lewis MP, and Eric Pickles MP.
I’m very surprised that Wiltshire MPs haven’t been more vocal against these increases. After all, its only just over 12 months till the next General Election and the actions of Jane Scott and her members, plus the UKIP effect, could cost some Conservative MPs their seats, MPs such as James Gray MP are sitting on majorities of just few thousand.
The Conservatives will be trying to defend a Wiltshire Council seat on March 6. You have to feel sorry for the Conservative candidate knocking on doors trying to defend Jane Scott and her group voting for these massive increases in allowances through.
How many members of the ruling Conservative group must be looking over their shoulders waiting for the next council elections in 2017? So many of them are sitting on very small majorities, in fact I would suggest that there isn’t a single Conservative council seat that can now be considered safe.
The Conservatives are being offered way out of this scandal on February 4. They should recognise that the public of Wiltshire are angry.
Now they have the chance to do the right thing and reverse the allowance increases. Failure to do so, in my view, will see at least one local Conservative MP looking for employment after the General Election in May 2015, and the prospect of seeing the Wiltshire Council Conservative group being wiped out at the next council elections.
Councillor Terry Chivers
Independent Wiltshire Councillor