The deputy leader of Sutton Council has survived a vote of no confidence in his handling of the despised £35 garden waste collection charge.

Councillor Colin Hall faced withering criticism before members voted 26-21 against the motion which was tabled by the Conservative group.

It was the first confidence vote for six years and the executive member was constantly reminded of his vulnerability by barracking from the public gallery.

His Liberal Democrat colleagues also incurred the wrath of taxpayers after hushing the "rent-a-mob" during the frequently ill-tempered debate.

Tensions had risen after the Sutton Guardian revealed last week how officers illegally dumped two truckloads of green waste by a recreation ground.

Opposition councillors argued Coun Hall was now the figurehead for a "reign of error", who would better support the environment by "getting on his bike".

Tory group leader Councillor Paul Scully said: "I don't know what lead councillors have to do to get the sack these days while everyone else in Sutton has to pay £35.

"We are left with shattered public confidence and the view of many residents that they are being used as a cash cow with scant regard for their views."

Sean Brennan, the council leader, accused opponents of political opportunism as he defended Coun Hall's stewardship of waste minimisation and recycling schemes.

The Tories won the support of UKIP Councillor David Pickles while idependent Councillor David Theobald abstained from the vote.

Liberal Democrat members Hamish Pollock, Kirsty Jerome, Richard Bailey and Sheila Andrews were all absent from the meeting because of what were described as conflicting commitments.