SO it’s not quite farewell, then, to Call Me Jane.

After a robust 16 years steering Wiltshire Asset Strippers Inc., Baroness Scott has pulled into a quiet layby, aka the House of Lords, and handed day-to-day control to Cllr Philip Whitehead.

There aren’t many assets left to strip now, are there?

In her continuing role as a backbench councillor, will she turn out to be a bit of a backseat driver?

For someone who once proclaimed (after summarily dispensing with her chief executive) “The buck stops here,” it might prove tough to resist temptation.

Cllr Whitehead, until now her cabinet’s go-to guy for finance and IT, set a conciliatory tone as he took office, saying he would work to improve the unitary authority’s relationships with city, town and parish councils, which were “not always as good as they could be”.

He’s made a sensible start by appointing a south Wiltshire member, Richard Clewer, as his deputy.

Cllr Whitehead is the man who’s done the groundwork for Wiltshire on the much-needed community banking scheme to help those who are of zero interest to the dinosaurs on what’s left of our high streets. That means people on benefits, small-scale entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Having had to stake his own home as security for a business loan, he knows how people feel. You can tell from the way he talked about it.

If the community bank wins approval from the regulators – and it’ll take a year or so – people will be able to pop into their library (wherever that’ll be by then) or community campus, do their banking and – importantly for those who’ve never had an account before, including young people leaving care – receive friendly advice.

Just one word of caution. Other praiseworthy initiatives such as the non-profit Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union, which encourages people to save regular small amounts and loans them money in times of need, at repayment rates they can afford – have long offered the hard-up and the hard-to-reach an alternative to payday lenders, but struggled to make themselves widely known.

So I do hope that Avon Mutual makes more headway, and that Wiltshire Council’s extensive publicity machine can help it to do that.

There’s no more important job in local government than taking care of those most in need.

I normally steer clear of national politics, but watching two blithering idiots vying for the job of Prime Minister with ever-increasing fantasy wads of non-existent public money has reduced me to genuine, head-in-the-hands despair.

Jeremy Hunt’s alienated the entire NHS workforce, and Boris Johnson’s wasted precious funds on failed vanity projects and worsened the plight of poor Nazanin Zagari-Ratcliffe, jailed in Iran, with his ill-informed bumbling. Are they really the best we’ve got?

Whichever of them is entrusted with Brexit and its aftermath, there’ll be a lot more demand for the services of community banks. Not to mention food banks. You can bank on that.