After testy exchanges over the way the last county council budget was put together, councillors at County Hall are to meet to see whether they can work better together.

Worcestershire County council’s leader, Councillor Simon Geraghty and its chief executive Paul Robinson will go to the next meeting of the authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board on Thursday.

The agenda says the purpose is to see how the scrutiny committee might best contribute to the development of the county council’s budget for 2019/20.

At the committee’s meeting in April, its chairman, Labour councillor Chris Bloore was critical of Cllr Geraghty, and his Conservative cabinet colleagues for not releasing the report it had commissioned to advice on this year’s budget.

He told the Worcester News councillors needed as much information as possible.

He said: “We are often just commenting on something that’s been decided, and as members we ought to be affecting things, changing the budget, not just discussing it.

“Often decisions made in previous budgets three or four years previously are coming forward, and councillors appeal to keep services going in their division, only to find they have voted for the change in the budget a long time before.”

Cllr Bloore added that if officers and cabinet members were using specific information to develop next year’s budget that it would be made available to councillors: “If we’re spending taxpayers’ money working out how best to spend their money, then I think that it’s essential that elected councillor s also have that information.”

Earlier this year the council faced criticism when it emerged it had spent nearly £30,000 on advice from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy into its financial situation.

That report, in the form of a slide presentation, told County Hall bosses they had been ‘overly optimistic’ about the state of the authority’s finances, and it had run down its reserves by nearly half to cover spending gaps in its budgets.

The authority’s leader Cllr Geraghty was not available to comment on the meeting, which will start at 2.30pm at County Hall.