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Former cabinet member fails to declare further controversial information
THE HAMPSHIRE cabinet member who dramatically quit failed to declare she was a director of four companies, it has emerged.
County councillor Anna McNair Scott, who was due to decide the fate of four care homes across Hampshire, broke council rules by failing to fully disclose her interests.
She handed in her resignation for what she called “a genuine oversight.”
Now the council’s register of interest and gifts has been updated to show she is a director of Midland Holdings Ltd, Maritime Orient and Near East Agency, Skylon Enterprise and Space Travel Investments ltd.
For three of the companies, the only other director is her businessman husband, Nigel, who is involved in a large number of enterprises, including the couple’s 700-acre farm estate in Old Basing.
Confusingly, the register also lists Cllr McNair Scott as non-executive chairman of Helical Bar plc – a multi-million pound property and investments company with its headquarters in Mayfair.
In fact, the position is held by her husband – as she had previously declared. As reported, council leader Roy Perry accepted her resignation and said the decision over the four care homes will now be taken by the whole Cabinet.
The homes threatened with the axe are Nightingale Lodge in Romsey, the Deeside complex near Basingstoke and Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst, the only specialist dementia unit in the New Forest.
The council said it would cost £10m to modernise the homes and plans to replace them with extra care apartments.
The issue over a possible conflict of interest was raised by campaigners battling to save Deeside complex. They accused Cllr McNair Scott of failing to reveal her husband was involved in property development, including extra care units in Stratford Upon Avon.
Tony Hooke, deputy leader of the UKIP group on the county council, then discovered Cllr McNair Scott was a director of four companies – none of which she had declared. In a statement, Cllr Perry said Cllr McNair Scott’s departure was not as a result of a conflict of interest but because she had failed to provide a complete disclosure of interests.
He said: “Cllr McNair Scott has since completed the process of updating her register of interest and a copy of the updated register is now available on the council website.”
Asked why Cllr McNair Scott was now wrongly listed as non-executive chairman of Helical Bar plc, a council statement said it was “not necessary to state or distinguish on the register between councillors’ interests and those of their spouse or partner.”
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