Transport chief’s ‘shock’ at council sacking

Janet Blake
Janet Blake

Sacked roads boss Janet Blake has expressed her shock and disappointment at the dismissal.

Mrs Blake held the planning and transportation portfolio at Bucks County Council for just ten months.

The councillor, who has come under fire for the state of Bucks’s roads and traffic congestion in Aylesbury, will be succeeded by Ruth Vigor-Hedderly, previously deputy cabinet member for transport.

Mrs Blake said: “It was a bit of a shock. It was disappointing because I still felt that I had work to do.

“Being on the cabinet is at the leader’s behest, and it is his gift to put people in jobs and remove them, I always knew that.”

She added: “Being on the cabinet is always the ultimate for anyone that’s involved in local government, if they have time in their life to do it.

“I hope people will think that I administered the budget I had wisely.”

Last week council leader Martin Tett announced that Mrs Blake’s former post is to be split in two.

And she claimed that the role had been a challenge, particularly with the recent flooding across the county.

She said: “It has been an enormous challenge, it is a big job.

“In councils, transport, roads and planning are always upmost in the public’s mind.

“Unfortunately the floods upset the pothole work a little bit because we had to divert resources into flood defences.”

Mr Tett said: “I would like to thank Janet Blake for her excellent contribution to planning and transportation over the past year.

“I warmly welcome Ruth Vigor-Hedderly to her cabinet role and wish her the very best in her new, challenging job.”

He added: “Ruth has been the deputy cabinet member for the last year and she has done an excellent job.

“She is incredibly hard working and is really well known and well regarded.

“She has a lot to bring to the job.”