A CONTROVERSIAL plan to share a chief executive between two councils has been agreed.

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.

After tense discussion, a proposal to defer the decision was rejected on a secret ballot.

And a named vote on whether to approve the proposals was tied with new chairman, councillor Mike Morgan, left to cast the deciding vote.

On the same evening Wychavon District Council also approved the move.

At the full council meeting, Cllr Julian Roskams proposed deferment to allow the council to “seek other options”.

He said: “If you vote in favour tonight you aren’t voting only for sharing a chief executive, you are voting for the sharing of services and this will lead to job cuts, with power lying elsewhere.”

Cllr Jill Campbell warned: “Of course other councils that have already done this aren’t going to say it’s not working. If we pass this we can’t do a U-turn.

“Independent councillors of councils that have a shared chief executive say this has left a climate of insecurity among staff.

Council leader David Hughes, said that the share - which will be in place by October 1 and aims to save £60,000 annually - will help secure the future of the council and said there is “no proposal on the table to get rid of any senior management”.

He said: “I don’t believe this council has no future. I do believe that if we are part of a larger pool we will secure the future of the council.

“I’ve heard nothing from any other council that makes me think we would ever end up in a situation where this will not work.”

At MHDC Chris Bocock holds the chief executive role and is paid between £100,000 and £104,999.

Wychavon's chief executive Jack Hegarty is paid between £101,611 to £107,004.