Tendring Council’s ruling administration is set to be ousted at an emergency meeting next month.

The Tendring First-led opposition, which lost control of the authority in May, will attempt to seize power after calling an extraordinary meeting.

The Tory administration has accused the opposition of exploiting the death of councillor Charlie Sambridge, who died on July 23, by using their temporary advantage in numbers to seize power before the by-election takes place on September 24.

It has been revealed the opposition will attempt to replace Tory chairman Nick Turner, vice-chairman John Brown, leader Neil Stock and Peter Halliday, the sole member of the council's regeneration firm INTend.

They will also seek to appoint its members as directors of the company and remove Tory chairmen from council committees.

Peter Halliday, acting leader of the council, said: “It is appalling that they're using the death of a council colleague to overthrow the administration.

“What they are trying to achieve is not helping Tendring. It is difficult for us to move forward in this situation.

“We have been talking to Tendring First’s leader David Lines but he has not come up with a solution.

“The by-election is the key. If we lose it we will resign, but if we win it the balance of power on the council will be 30-30 and the administration could change back and forth every meeting.

“It is a ridiculous situation.”

Mr Halliday criticised independent councillors for allowing the situation to continue.

He said they should have resigned from the Anything But Conservative (ABC) coalition when it lost power because the situation is harming the governance of the council.

Mr Lines said the opposition has decided to call the meeting because they were unhappy after hearing the Conservatives had appointed a candidate before Mr Sambridge’s funeral had taken place and after a member of the opposition had been asked to join the Tory administration.

“It has been self evident from the last four months that the new administration have been unable to do anything, but we managed quite well for two years,” said Mr Lines.

“They are a minority administration of 27 with the support of three independent Community Representatives and are struggling to manage the council.”

The authority’s Tory chairman Nick Turner has set the meeting for 6.30pm on Thursday September 17, shortly before the full council meeting that evening.

Because both the administration and the opposition on Tendring Council have 30 councillors each the balance of power is controlled by the chairman’s casting vote.

But a move to oust the chairman could take place at every meeting. The chairman would have to leave the council chamber due to his prejudicial interest, giving the opposition the upper hand.