A MOVE by independent councillors to block increases in Wiltshire councillors’ allowances of up to 40 per cent has been defeated by 60 votes to 24.

The vote means all councillors at the Conservativerun council are entitled to a one per cent rise, Cabinet members are entitled to 22 per cent, while Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott’s entitlements rise by nearly 40 per cent a year from £37,335 to £52,227.

Cllr Scott has said she will not claim the increases, which included £9,216 for chairing a new health and wellbeing board, saying the controversy surrounding the allowances has been too distracting.