AN EMERGENCY meeting at County Hall saw heated exchanges between members after Labour called for a government takeover of the ‘failing authority’.

But Worcestershire County Council Conservative councillors slammed the Labour group for time wasting and a political stunt, which they said had been orchestrated by the group’s leader Peter McDonald.

The motion proposed council had no confidence in the Conservative leadership and called on the Secretary of State to intervene and takeover all council functions - the first time in the council's history this was put forward.

At the extraordinary meeting of the authority, held yesterday morning, Cllr McDonald said: “This council is in complete disarray.

“There are no policies put forward by the controlling group to tackle the increasing human misery caused by a failed approach to provide services.

“I'm challenging you lot, and the Lib Dems, entering into an election, deceitful, where you did not tell the residents of the problems with children’s services in general, and the truth about the £60 million plus cuts that are coming.”

His comments received groans and shouts of rubbish at various times.

Council leader Simon Geraghty said: “Only a few months ago this administration was democratically re-elected by the people of Worcestershire with a clear mandate to deliver our wishes, planned for the county.

“We are making the county an even better place to live work, visit and invest in.

“We have been very up front and honest with the public about financial pressure.

“We fully expect to be able to balance the budget.

“I acknowledge the challenges we face.

“This motion is ridiculous. Asking the government to intervene tarnishes the good name of this authority, the excellent work we are doing.”

Councillor Nathan Desmond calling it a political stunt, while Councillor Adam Kent criticised the Labour group for wasting council and officers time.

The 2017 group - a Liberal Democrat and Green coalition group, proposed an amendment calling instead for the wealth of talent across all political groups to be utilised. This was voted down.

Councillor Fran Oborski called Labour’s motion “political grandstanding”. Councillor Matthew Jenkins said the administration is struggling to deliver the high quality services residents deserve, but added: “I don’t agree with Labour’s solution - it seems to me a case of the Tories are rubbish let’s bring in more Tories."

“How is that going to help, it clearly isn’t.”

Councillors debate lasted more than an hour-and-a-half, which included a number of fiery exchanges, before the vote on the substantive motion which was lost, 33 votes to 9.