MALVERN Hills Conservators are to set up a committee to investigate the St Ann's Well dispute.

At last night's (Thursday's) meeting of the board's administration and finance committee, members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.

Board chairman Clive Smith said: "Members will recall when I first became chairman, I said that we should have this inquiry and that I was equally resolved that it should be open and transparent.

"It should be in public and it should also be carried out during the lifetime of the current board, that is by October 2011."

Mr Smith said he though it would be inappropriate for himself, the previous chairman or the current vice-chairman to sit on the committee.

Members raised questions about the board's terms of reference and whether it can hear evidence about legal advice which was originally given in confidence.

The committee agreed to recommend to the board that the new committee is set up and empowered to carry out its investigation.