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Wiltshire Council leader comes out of the shadows in sacking sensation

Jane Scott, Tory leader of Wiltshire Council, which has dramatically announced that it proposes to dismiss its chief executive Andrew Kerr, has decided to come out of the shadows – and confer with all her colleagues.

She has suddenly re-launched her personal blog and intends to use it to give regular updates regarding the council’s proposed senior management restructure, which follows the sacking of some 240 staff by redundancy notices.

And councillors of all parties are now invited, in a special Hot Wire communication, to offer their views on the council’s upheaval before its Cabinet meets at the end of the month.

A Hot Wire statement published yesterday (Wednesday) headed, Proposed Senior Management Restructure – Message from Corporate Leadership Team, states:

“Dear colleagues,

“Following last week’s message from Jane Scott regarding the proposal to restructure the senior management team, we wanted to express our thanks, and share some of our thoughts with all of you.

We recognise that the next few weeks could be unsettling for many, including those of us directly affected by the proposal.  It is anticipated that a decision will be made by the Cabinet on the future senior management structure for the council at the end of this month/early October and that following that meeting (the date will be agreed shortly), the decision will be implemented as quickly as possible.  

In this interim period, we wanted to say thank you for your on-going support and commitment to delivering the services that are vital to our local communities.  It is the strength of your hard work, combined with our clear vision and plans for the next four years that has placed the council in a position of strength to be able to consider a structure that promotes a new leadership model.

It hopefully goes without saying that it is business as usual, and that our number one priority is to continue to deliver excellent services to our local communities. We will ensure that you are kept updated of the decision that is made and the process for implementing the decision. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please raise these through the rumour buster, the discussion forum, or contact any of us directly.

Thank you again for your support, commitment and the hard work that you consistently demonstrate and deliver.”

Meanwhile, 52-year-old Mr Kerr, who earns £183,000 a year and has his mortgage paid by the council, has expressed his dismay that the council is considering scrapping his post.

“It came out of the blue and so I told her (Jane Scott) I was surprised and would have to go away and think about what they had said,” he reveals.

“I would prefer to stay here, but I think the administration are pushing forward their case.  I perceive that it would be more helpful for the council and for myself if I were to go reasonably quickly if that is the decision that is made.”

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