COUNCILLORS have decided to go ahead with a road improvement programme after an ill-tempered meeting.
Liberal Democrat members had demanded extra scrutiny for the £4m plan to improve Kirklees roads claiming too much money had been earmarked for Conservative areas.
But Kirklees Council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel decided after a marathon meeting to endorse the Conservative cabinet's September 27 decision.
Liberal Democrat deputy leader John Smithson was unhappy with the decision. He said: "I'm disappointed, I wanted the plan to go back to cabinet to be reconsidered."
Some £2m will be spent on A roads, with a similar amount going on smaller routes.
Of this second group, Clr Smithson said that £1.4m was being spent in areas with Conservative councillors and only £700,000 in wards with no Tory members. The Conservatives have seats in only nine of Kirklees' 23 wards.
"The plan is very, very much in favour of Conservative areas.
"It's an appalling abuse of power," said Clr Smithson.
The Almondbury councillor was particularly unhappy that Station Road in Lepton, Marsden's Peel Street, Crosland Hill Road in Netherton and Lockwood's Victoria Road are having no work done. He said: "These are obviously priority roads."
But Conservative Martyn Bolt, cabinet member responsible for roads, said he felt vindicated.
He said: "All we're trying to do is to do the best for the people of Kirklees.
"I'm pleased with the panel's verdict but disappointed with the process.
"The public need to know that the Lib Dems, who have built up a reputation by posing next to potholes, have delayed the process of filling some of them in."
The Overview and Scrutiny Panel decided to endorse the cabinet's spending plan rather than sending it back to either cabinet or full council.
But the panel recommended that in future cabinet members should make clearer the reasons for their choices.
The verdict came after a tense three-hour meeting where Conservative and Lib Dem councillors frequently clashed.