THERE was heated debate in the Malvern Hills District council chamber as councillors voted through plans to share a chief executive with Wychavon District Council.

Following tense discussion, votes on whether to approve the proposals were tied with new Malvern Hills District Council chairman, councillor Mike Morgan, left to cast the deciding vote.

At the full council meeting last night, cllr Julian Roskams proposed that the council defer the decision to allow the council to "seek other options".

However, following a secret ballot the council voted against this and the proposal was later approved.

Currently Jack Hegarty holds the role at Wychavon, which sees him head the council’s paid service, be the principal policy advisor, lead and direct the workforce of 220 full time staff and hold a net budget of £11 million. He is paid between £101,611 to £107,004 and has a car allowance.

Over in Malvern Chris Bocock holds the equivalent role, is paid between £100,000 and £104 999 and has a car allowance of £6,260 and variable electoral fees.

Following the vote, the process to install a joint chief executive by October 1 can begin.

For more on this story, see this week's Malvern Gazette.