A BID by opposition councillors on Malvern Hills District Council to stall plans for a shared chief executive with Wychavon failed this week.

But the leader of the Democratic group says he and his colleagues will reverse the decision if they come to power in next spring's elections.

Cllr Julian Roskams said yesterday: "This will most definitely be one of our campaign issues in next May's election, and if we are voted into power, we will reverse this decision."

He said the group has also obtained legal advice indicating the decision taken in June was unlawful, and were prepared to act on that.

"We still have the option of a legal challenge, and that's very much still on the table," he said.

At a bad-tempered meeting on Tuesday, attended by about 30 members of the public, a number of councillors walked out in disgust during the discussion on the issue.

The extraordinary meeting had been called by the Democratic and Lib Dem groups in a bid to delay the decision taken on June to go ahead with the sharing plan.

Opposition councillors say the ruling Tory group pushed the issue through in June without considering the consequences and exploring alternatives

The notice of motion presented by Cllr John Raine called for action on the decision to be suspended until next January, while alternatives are considered in depth.

Coun Raine's report presented a number of alternatives, such as two different restructurings of the senior management structure, which he reckoned would save more money,

The walkout came during the debate, when after some discussion, Tory member Roger Hall-Jones called for the vote to be put. The council voted 17-16 to proceed to the vote, leading several opposition members to walk out amid shouts of "shameful" and "absolutely disgraceful".

The opposition's motion was then defeated 19-12 with two abstentions.