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I am the unitary councillor for the Ethandune division which covers the villages of Coulston, Edington, Bratton, Heywood, Hawkeridge and Dilton Marsh...
I was initially elected into this role in March 2014 at a by election following the untimely death of Linda Conley. I have been fortunate to have been a Wiltshire resident for over 50 years. Throughout this time, I have lived in rural communities and therefore have a deep understanding of the specific issues that affect the countryside and the people who live in it.
Through my role as the then Chairman of our Keevil Parish Council, I became well acquainted with the work of local Parish Councils, Area Boards and Wiltshire Council and how each can bring benefit to local communities. I am now the Cabinet Member for Adult Health, Public Health and Public Protection which is a busy and wide ranging role. Adult social care currently has a budget spend of £140m with the remaining portfolios having a further £20m budget. This requires me to engage with a whole host of outside agencies and staff in Wiltshire Council in these complex areas.
I am genuinely pleased to be able to represent the Ethandune division. Each of the villages are different and have diverse issues that need addressing. Importantly, I am passionate that local people have their voices heard over matters that affect them. I believe that serving local communities is the critical part of being a councillor and I very much enjoy meeting people and wherever possible looking to help them with their issues. I endeavour to do this with honesty, loyalty and with energy.
General background and experience
I own a consultancy business which in the past has taken me to India, whilst working for a global organization and more recently worked on nationwide projects when engaged with the Home Office. Importantly I have many years’ experience of providing public service in Wiltshire. My main career was that of a police officer in this county, starting on the beat at Salisbury and gradually moving around the county and Swindon, in different roles and ranks. I had the privilege of being the senior police officer at Salisbury for a number of years. Throughout this time, I worked alongside a wide range of organisations, at the local, former district council and county levels. In addition, towards the end of my police career, I worked on behalf of the 5 police forces in the South West.
I went to school at Corsham and during my police career, I studied with the Open University and Open Business School gaining two degrees, a Bachelor of Science predominantly in Social Science and a Master of Business Administration. I also hold qualifications related to programme and project management.
Wiltshire Council Work
Since being elected to Wiltshire Council, I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a number of challenging roles over and above that of looking after the villages of Coulston, Edington, Bratton, Heywood, Hawkeridge and Dilton Marsh. This included initially the Portfolio holder for Waste and then to include Highways and then in June 2016, I was appointed the Cabinet Member for Adults Social Care, Public Health and Public Protection. This role, has the largest spend across the Council and presently faces intense pressure both locally and nationally as we see a growth in demand for these service, due to the ever increasing numbers of elderly residents and those with learning disabilities, requiring our assistance. During my time in this role, I have led a major transformation programme which is modernising the service, improving outcomes for people and delivering this within the available budgets.
Work with the Health Service
A significant part of my Council work also involves working alongside colleagues in the Health Service. This includes both the local Clinical Commissioning Group and the acute hospitals where we know that greater integration between the staff engaged in caring for people in the community as well as health professionals is critically important. I also chair the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for the area, which covers the Royal United Hospital, Great Western Hospital, Salisbury Foundation Hospital, BaNES Council, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council, the three Clinical Commissioning Groups at BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire and the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Trust. The aim of this nationally identified partnership is to encourage greater integration across the entire health and social care sector but importantly focus far more on how we as citizens can do more to help ourselves and improve our health outcomes by greater use of a number of health and social care prevention strategies.
Personal and family background
My wife and I have lived in Keevil for 25 years. Our two sons have since left home, both now serving in uniform, one as an officer in the British Army and the other as a police officer in Wiltshire Police. We are established members of the active community in the village and I had been a parish councillor in the village for 8 years including a 4 year stint as the Chairman. I am able to bring a host of skills and experience to this role, having been engaged in public service for nearly 40 years. Equally, in my policing career, I have seen and appreciated the difficulties some members of society face. In addition, my role as a senior police officer provided me with many skills linked to teams, motivation and working in challenging environments, especially associated with shrinking budgets and increasing demand on services.
Help and advice
My aim, as the Ethandune Wiltshire Councillor, has been to get to as many meetings of the Parish Council’s as possible in order to understand and provide advice on the respective issues and act to resolve them wherever I can. I also endeavour to keep residents updated through articles in the respective Parish and Village magazines and websites. I very much welcome contact from residents through this website or contacting me on my listed telephone number. I will always look to acknowledge any correspondence promptly and resolve any issue as quickly as possible.
Finally, I invite you to follow my Facebook page Councillor Jerry Wickham Wiltshire Council and my Twitter account @JerryWickham.