CONTROVERSIAL plans for Malvern Hills and Wychavon councils to share a chief executive are back on the agenda next week.

The oppositions Democratic and Lib Dem groups on Malvern Hills District Council have called an extraordinary meeting to discuss the issue, accusing the ruling Tories of "dubious tactics" in getting the proposal approved.

But Tory leader David Hughes accused his opponents of being "short-sighted" and bringing the council into disrepute.

At the meeting on Tuesday, the opposition groups will call for the council to suspend all action on the decision until next January and set up a cross-party group to look at all the options.

Cllrs Julian Roskams and Tom Wells, leaders of the two opposition groups, say the Tory group acted illegally at a meeting on July 29, when they voted to overturn a decision agreed earlier that the post should be advertised openly rather than being restricted to the current job holders.

Cllr Roskams said he recognises the need for change. But he said: "The ruling Tory politicians have refused to allow the wider body of elected members to exercise their judgment on behalf of residents, resorting to dubious tactics to force through their proposal of sharing a chief executive with Wychavon."

Cllr Wells said: "The shared chief exec model offers poor value of money for Malvern Hills and would inevitably lead to most jobs and decision-making being transferred to Wychavon Council. There are surely better options and we are determined that those should be properly explored."

Cllr Hughes said: “The stalling tactics of the opposition are unbelievably short sighted - they have tried to frustrate the process and refused to engage at every step.

"Seeking to overturn the democratic decision of council to further their own political ambitions and making scurrilous claims brings the council into disrepute.”