MEMBERS of Ryedale District Council have voted to implement an improvement plan - despite one councillor labelling it "a stupid document".

At a meeting of full council on Thursday, members discussed the plan which contains ten actions designed to improve the authority's efficiency.

It was created in the wake of a bruising peer review in October by members of other councils.

Among the actions include a commitment to “clear, firm and consistent chairing of council meetings”, for “members to agree and commit to an agreed set of values, behaviours and ways of working”, and for “members to respect and use the clear majority and mandate of the ruling group” - currently the Conservatives.

But at the meeting, Cllr John Clark, leader of the opposition Liberal group, said that opposition members would not be suppressed by the plan. "We'll go on complaining," he said. "We'll go on questioning."

He also criticised the Conservative group. "The instructions come down from above," he said. "And work their way round. It's a conga line. They are in the conga but they don't know where the conga is going. Or been. Or is.

"It's a stupid document."

Linda Cowling, Conservative leader of the council, responded: "I think one thing you're forgetting is that the peer review came into this council and they spoke to members and staff and they listened to recording of full council.

"A lot of what you've said tonight shows a total lack of respect for officers of this council. We had a members' briefing about this - what a shame you felt unable to attend that.

"Nobody wanted to go through this process but the thing is we had to save money. This will be a different way of running a council but I know it will be a successful way."

Members voted to implement the plan 21 to six.