Meeting on councillors' allowances is called off

A SPECIAL Christmas Eve meeting of Wiltshire Council to discuss big increases in members’ allowances has been called off.

The extraordinary full council meeting was arranged at short notice this week after five independent members used the council’s constitution to request a special meeting.

They wanted it to scrap a decision to increase Cabinet members’ allowances by 22 per cent and Council Leader Jane Scott’s combined allowances by 36 per cent.

But the timing of the meeting was criticised by the independent members and Liberal Democrats and yesterday, it was agreed that the meeting would be cancelled.

Cllr Jeff Osborn, representing the independent members, said he had agreed to withdraw the meeting request because it had never been anticipated that the meeting would be held on Christmas Eve.

He accused the ruling Conservatives of timing the meeting to cause embarrassment to those who had asked for it.

He said: “We did not call it for Christmas Eve when it is so inconvenient. They tried to make us look like clowns and that was petty politics so I agreed to a compromise because it would be stupid to have a Christmas meeting. Common sense has prevailed, but the issue has not gone away and will be tackled at a meeting on February 4.”

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