WILTSHIRE Council leader Jane Scott has announced she will be stepping down from the role after 16 years.

Baroness Scott will step down from her role on July 9 and a new leader will be elected at the full council meeting on that date.

She was appointed the leader of the then Wiltshire County Council in 2003 and when the authority became a unitary council in 2009 she was voted to lead the new organisation.

She was appointed an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours for services to local government.

Baroness Scott said: “It has been my true privilege to serve as council leader for 16 years but the time now feels right to pass the mantle, and special responsibility, onto someone else.

“As you would expect in local government it’s been challenging at times but what has got me up early every morning, and the reason I got into politics in the first place, is the drive and determination to try my absolute best on behalf of the people and communities of Wiltshire.

“I feel I am leaving the council in a good position and I’d like to thank all the staff and all members and partners. It has been an enormous pleasure and privilege to work with you all.”

Baroness Scott will continue in her role as councillor for By Brook.