LABOUR councillors in Tendring fear the district’s finances are being left unsupervised following the resignation of the council leader.

Peter Halliday quit last month after a rant at a cabinet meeting in which he described Tory colleagues as deceiving, lying individuals.

He was also the councillor responsible for finance. Paul Honeywood has taken on Mr Halliday’s role on an interim basis.

Tendring Council’s Labour group says it is worried the council’s administration has been left paralysed in the runup to the annual budget.

Ivan Henderson, leader, said: “This shambles results exclusively from infighting among Conservative councillors and it is about time they remembered why they sought election in the first place.”

Mr Henderson said the announcement of an intention to cut council tax by 0.5 per cent by Mr Halliday before his resignation must be reviewed.

He said: “It is hard to believe the local Conservatives could create such a mess.

“If it wasn’t so serious for the residents of Tendring then it would be laughable.”

Mr Honeywood worked closely with Mr Halliday as his deputy and was aware of the council’s financial situation.

He said: “We are proposing a balanced budget that will see savings of about £2million, a 0.5 per cent cut in council tax, and the retention of the free parking cuts, without cutting any frontline services.”

He added it would be reckless to appoint someone new to the post before the budget meeting. The Tories are expected to elect a new leader later this month.