Secret reports commissioned by county council bosses will remain under wraps, after two failed attempts by councillors for them to be released in the future.

It emerged earlier this year that the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy had been paid £29,000 last year to look into Worcestershire County Council’s finances and report to senior cabinet members and officers.

The series of PowerPoint slides, which was used in the drawing up of the authority’s budget this year, was not released to other councillors.

Two motions to force the Conservative administration to release any such further reports it has made were put forward yesterday at County Hall.

One was put forward by Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Liz Tucker, and one by new Labour leader Councillor Robin Lunn.

Supporting Cllr Tucker’s motion, Councillor Fran Oborski said: “It was embarrassing to find out about this report through a Freedom of Information request and to see the criticism of the council when it came out.”

Councillor Lunn said: “If this administration doesn’t agree to make all such information available to councillors then the public will look at us and think they’re trying to keep something secret.”

Council leader Councillor Simon Geraghty said that the information contained in the CIPFA report was made available to councillors through budget briefings, and the normal consultation process - although the slides themselves had not been released.

Deputy leader Councillor Adrian Hardman said: “If we have to make available all such reports it could lead to a ‘safety first’ culture, where imaginative solutions won’t see the light of day.

Both motions were defeated.