SPARKS flew at an explosive council meeting which led to calls for a Romsley councillor to resign due to a vote which ‘brought the council into disrepute’.

Bromsgrove District Council members clashed in a heated hour-long debate on Wednesday (November 22) with some calling for Conservative cllr Karen May, who represents Clent Hills at Worcestershire County Council, to quit.

She was accused of following the Tory party whip by voting in favour of county hall’s Local Transport Plan 4, despite it being unanimously rejected by Bromsgrove district members in April for failing to address congestion and pollution problems.

Amendments to the plan were proposed at county hall earlier this month, calling for a “suitable bypass” in the district to ease congestion and “low emission zones” to tackle pollution.

All three Labour councillors who share Bromsgrove district and Worcestershire county council roles voted for the amendments, with cllr May one of four Tories in twin-roles to vote against them.

But the council leader Tory cllrs Geoff Denaro said he “understood” why his colleagues changed their initial vote as the transport plan had been revised from the initial document, which meant a strategy for improvement was in place.

Independent Cllr Steve Colella, who represents Hagley West at district council, said: “If there was anything in that LTP4 that was of benefit to Hagley and Bromsgrove the four Tory councillors would have been jumping up and down.

“The people of Hagley deserve the right to know what their elected county councillor is doing on their behalf.

“I feel as if I, this council, and the people of Hagley have been completely let down.

“It was clear that county councillors were whipped into making that decision which led me onto further concerns that a constitutional crisis would appear.”

Cllr May responded: “Let me tell you, Hagley needs an LTP4 if you don’t you are going to be subject to not having a five-year land supply and other issues that come forward.”

Labour cllr Peter McDonald accused cllr May and others who voted down the amendments as being “nothing more than low-bellied hypocrites” and called for their resignation.

The motion, which urged the council to change the constitution to prevent district members from holding cabinet positions at county council, was eventually lost 12 for and 13 against, with one abstention.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr May said: “LTP4 is a document with hooks, opportunities for us where we can make the changes we need.

“We need to work productively, not engage in play-acting in the Council Chamber. Most charitably, Labour’s position is down to a misunderstanding about the draft and amendments process."