Harsh criticism of Birmingham City Council's failure to deliver the redevelopment of New Street Station by CBI director general Sir Digby Jones has infuriated the local authority's Tory-led cabinet.
The boss of Britain's biggest business organisation was talking out of turn and should have known better, according to Councillor Ken Hardeman, who holds the cabinet regeneration portfolio.
Sir Digby told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference in Blackpool that the council was dragging its feet on New Street.
He said: "As a city, Birmingham has to pee or get off the pot. There are a lot of different ideas, but the time for a decision has come."
Coun Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said he felt personally hurt by Sir Digby's comments, which did not reflect the true position.
He added: "We meet week in week out to build up the case for New Street Station. We have made strong approaches to the Government that New Street should be a priority for them.
"I really believe any lack of confidence being suggested in this administration is certainly not due to us dithering. We are doing what we can within the scope, economically, that we can deliver.
"We are targeting on building up funding packages. If these packages can't be put together because the Government has other priorities all we can do is keep making our case.
"Digby is Digby and he will say what he likes. But it does hurt when he criticises us unfairly.
"He should recognise that much of the funding problem around the major issues is down to the Government."
Coun Hardeman also hit back at criticism of the council's performance by Andrew Sparrow, deputy chairman of the professional services lobbying organisation Birmingham Forward.
Mr Sparrow accused the council cabinet of indecision over major projects including the city centre metro extension and the new library.
Coun Hardeman insisted a year-long feasibility study into the possibility of an underground railway had produced valuable information about long- term strategies for tunnelling.
He added: "The feasibility study didn't stop the metro happening. The money isn't there. The Government are responsible for the funding shortfall.
"We are not dithering. Every week I sit in judgement on issues. That's not sitting on your backside."