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Cllr McNair Scott resigns from Cabinet at Hampshire County Council after not declaring an interest
THE ADULT care chief who pushed to close a care home in Basingstoke has resigned after “failing to provide a complete disclosure of interests”.
Councillor Anna McNair Scott, executive member for adult social care at Hampshire County Council, offered her resignation from Cabinet after the matter was raised with her by Cllr Roy Perry, leader of the county council.
The Conservative member for Candovers has been in the headlines recently with her plan to close four care homes in Hampshire including Deeside, in Alliston Way, South Ham.
In a statement released last night, Cllr Perry said concerns were brought to him on Wednesday, and he spoke to Cllr McNair Scott when she returned from a conference in Harrogate. She then offered her resignation, he said.
Cllr Perry added: “I have known Cllr McNair Scott since I joined the county council and hold her in the highest regard, which is why I appointed her to my Cabinet.
“I fully accept that the incompleteness of her declaration was, in her words, a genuine oversight, and at no time would she have taken any decision that could have been influenced by those undeclared interests.
“Nevertheless, I had no alternative but to accept her resignation from the Cabinet.”
Cllr Perry said he had already determined that the care home closure decision, due on November 28, would be taken by the Cabinet, and added he will be advising who will be replacing Cllr McNair Scott.
At a public meeting in Basingstoke this Monday, organised to discuss the closure plan, members of the Save Deeside group raised questions about her objectiveness.
They said she had not declared that her husband Nigel worked for a company that is a specialist retirement village developer, which is in partnership with a firm that is in partnership with a company that is building 179 extra care units in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Hampshire County Council is planning to use the money from the sale of Deeside to provide more extra care facilities in Basingstoke.
After the meeting, Cllr McNair Scott issued a statement to The Gazette in which she said Hampshire County Council does not contract with Urban Renaissance Village, which is building the homes in Stratford-upon-Avon, and that she did not believe she had a conflict of interest.
The county council has released Cllr McNair Scott's resignation letter, and Cllr Parry's response, as set out below:
This letter is to submit, with much regret, my resignation as Executive Member for Adult Social Care. On Wednesday, I became aware that a number of questions had been raised in recent days regarding my declaration of interests, this I recognised was not complete. This was a genuine oversight which I immediately sought to rectify.
I wholeheartedly believe that my personal affairs presented no conflict of interest as Executive Member. I have nevertheless concluded that it would be distracting to the overall work of the County Council for me to continue as Cabinet Member at this time.
I am confident that this is the right decision for both myself and the County Council. I will continue to give my support from the backbenches, and I wish both yourself and the Administration every success with the challenges that lie ahead.
Cllr Anna McNair Scott
Resignation acceptance letter
Thank you for your letter of resignation from my Cabinet which I have accepted today with regret. I understand that the apparent gaps in your declaration of interests may have been a simple oversight on your part, but I share your conclusion that in the circumstances, it is the correct and honourable thing for you to resign your Cabinet role.
Your prompt decision to stand down does you great credit and will come as no surprise to those who know you well. You have always brought a high degree of insight, commitment and compassion to your Council duties and for that, I want to place on record my gratitude to you.
I wish you well for your future continued role, serving the County Council and the people of Hampshire.
Councillor Roy Perry
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