Cllr Pinfield, who is head of the committee responsible for arrangements to split the authority, said:
'John Gummer's wholly unnecessary decision to delay reorganisation to 1988 is a blatant attempt to appease Worcestershire Tories who are desperate to avoid facing the electorate in the shadow elections in 1996. The cost of this cynical manoeuvring will be borne by the council tax payer.
'We have put a large investment into preparing for reorganisation as we were encouraged to do by the government. The cost to this county council alone runs well into six figures - in staff time, outside advice and political meetings. We are in a position to go ahead in 1997 as planned and until now believed that is what government wanted.