Call to make council meetings even longer
IF you were drawing up a list of ideas to try to make council meetings more fun, what would you suggest?
Strobe lighting, perhaps, or maybe a mandatory conga line?
Chances are, making them longer would not make the cut, but that is exactly what councillors are suggesting.
The Liberal Democrats have called for Gloucestershire County Council to remove its current 30-minute maximum time limit for debating motions.
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They believe the strict adherence to a stopwatch is stifling debate and preventing members from having their say, and want the time limit to be torn up and replaced by a free for all.
However, in order to prevent debates being too "open ended" the Lib Dems have said the total time spent on discussing motions should be capped at three hours.
At the moment there is a two-hour overall time limit for dealing with motions at council meetings.
Coun Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton), the man who has proposed getting rid of the time limit, said: "For eight years the Tories have stifled discussion on the big issues affecting Gloucestershire by using an oppressive guillotine on the length of debates.
"Now the council has moved into no overall control we must relax the rules to allow all 53 councillors the opportunity to debate the major issues in the council chamber. Our amendments to the constitution remove the guillotine on length of motions, bringing democracy to Shire Hall."
Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "There seems to be some short memories here. When Councillor Hilton and the Liberal Democrats set the council rules, there was no time at all set aside to discuss motions. We're happy to look at changes, but the Liberals will need to remember the council has important work to do – it's not there to be a platform for ambitious councillors to get their names in the newspaper."