They were supposed to be discussing their ambitions for the future, as they strive to deliver better opportunities for people and businesses.

But instead a West Norfolk Council meeting descended into an unseemly row between political factions leading to accusations of "sour grapes" and "bitterness".

It was the latest dispute at the increasingly fractious authority - now known as Norfolk's most cantankerous council - which is run by a coalition of independents holding a narrow majority over the Tories, who were ousted earlier this year.

The bickering came as Conservative members voiced their opposition to the four-year corporate strategy put together by the coalition.

Eastern Daily Press: The West Norfolk Council officesThe West Norfolk Council offices (Image: Newsquest)

A full detailed plan will be unveiled in the coming days but a brief document laying out its vague principles - ambitions to better support communities, improve the efficiency of services, protect the environment and boost growth in west Norfolk - caused the commotion.

Stuart Dark and Brian Long - both senior Tories who previously led the council - complained they had been left out of conversations and said they could not support the strategy, with Mr Dark describing it as a "few pages of upbeat soundbites with nothing new of considerable substance". 

READ MORE: Norfolk's maverick council boss who 'doesn't like politics'

Eastern Daily Press: West Norfolk Council Conservative party members Brian Long (L) and Stuart Dark (R)West Norfolk Council Conservative party members Brian Long (L) and Stuart Dark (R) (Image: Newsquest)

He also claimed it made use of his previous administration's ideas, while Mr Long argued it was a "hodgepodge of ideas cobbled together" and that the current leadership lacked a manifesto.

But there was a widespread rebuttal of these claims among the remaining members, including those of the Labour group, who said they had been consulted in full throughout the process and that some of Labour's ideas were included in the plan.

READ MORE: Councilor calls to keep gulls away from chips to tackle pollution

It was also claimed that Conservative members had been invited to panel meetings and that they had failed to contribute any ideas.

Independent cabinet member Jo Rust dismissed Mr Dark's complaints as "sour grapes" at the fact he was no longer in power while Jim Moriarty described it as "bitterness" from the Tory group.

Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Pallavi DevulapalliCouncillor Pallavi Devulapalli (Image: Archant)

Green Party member Pallavi Devulapalli spoke of her "disappointment" at the quality of the debate.

"I have not heard anything that would be particularly objectionable. On the other hand,  I would be embarrassed to oppose it.

"Should we not transpire to something good, to transparency and to work with everyone respectfully and collaboratively? If people do [oppose it], the public will see it for what it is - either petty politics or genuine opposition to these fine ideas."

Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of King's LynnAn aerial view of King's Lynn (Image: Newsquest)

Labour group leader Charles Joyce described the corporate strategy by using an analogy about beef burgers in an effort to point out it needs further depth of detail.

He said: "It reminds me of the two old ladies in the Wendy's advert. You've got a nice big fluffy bun but where is the beef? We have the bun but we just need to put the burger on the griddle." 

This vivid imagery made cabinet member for tourism, events and marketing, Simon Ring, "rather hungry", he later noted.

READ MORE: Calls to give King's Lynn more powers through town council

Eastern Daily Press: West Norfolk Council leader Terry ParishWest Norfolk Council leader Terry Parish (Image: West Norfolk Council)

Mr Parish has faced repeated criticism from the Conservatives that they are not including them in discussions - collaborating across party lines is something he has said he would strive to do since taking power.

But it seems the maverick leader, who claims he is not a politician, is yet to have his invitations for open discussions accepted by the Conservative group.

He hit back at his critics, saying it had "not been the easiest job to steer the new ship into position" but that the corporate plan had been developed through many hours of collaboration with members.

"I would rather not see the Conservatives as enemies. I am happy to work together but you need to stop trying to kill this administration."