Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, has issued the following statement with regard to the resignation of Cllr Anna McNair Scott, Executive Member for Adult Social Care.
Specific concerns were brought to my attention on Wednesday of this week that there might be issues with Cllr McNair Scott's declaration of interests. These I immediately referred to the Chief Executive of the County Council and Cllr McNair Scott in order to clarify. She realised that there were inadvertent omissions in her declaration. At the first opportunity I had to meet with Anna McNair Scott, on her return from the Adult and Children's Social Care Conference in Harrogate, which she had been attending, I discussed these matters with her. Anna at once offered me, as Leader of the County Council, her resignation from the Cabinet. She expressed her deep regret at her oversight in failing to provide a complete disclosure of interests, as required in accordance with the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct.
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 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. Anna has made a significant contribution to the work of the County Council over a number of years, particularly in her period as Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
I had already determined that any decision associated with the care homes consultation should be undertaken by the Cabinet as a whole, and that will remain the case. We have a substantial and important agenda for improving the quality of care for our older people and I will be advising, in due course, who will be replacing Cllr McNair Scott in this important role.
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
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