Volunteer Link transport schemes are failing to claim all the cash they are entitled to, says Wiltshire councillor John Thomson.

Last month, Wiltshire Council withdrew its 5p-per-mile support funding which was on offer to the region’s 45 groups, which take the elderly to medical appointments and shopping, saving around £39,000 from their annual budget.

But Cllr Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said that last year £15,000 of the £45,000 available from the council for Link schemes was not claimed.

He said: “I hope the Link groups claim and the full amount will go to them this year.

"We are looking at making our region’s area boards a more active part of supporting Link schemes and simplifying the funding system.”

On Wednesday, representatives from Wiltshire’s Links met to discuss how they will cope with the loss of the 5p-per-mile support.

Last year, Trowbridge’s Link received £5,200 core funding from the council and an extra £2,500 for the 60,000 miles their volunteers travelled.

Doug Ross, Trowbridge Link chairman, said: “All Links are different, some don’t need to claim because they get enough from their clients and we’ve been aware the council need to make cutbacks.

"We want to make sure Links survive and the ones in most need of funding get it.”