TIME limits on discussions at council meetings have been called a ‘travesty to democracy’ and is preventing councillors from being held to account, it has been claimed.

Several opposition county councillors have criticised stringent time limits placed on debates at full Worcestershire County Council meetings with important reports – only produced once every two years – resigned to less than half an hour for questioning.

At a recent meeting reports by cabinet members were restricted to just half hour slots with five motions from councillors expected to be discussed in just an hour.

Independent councillor Charlie Hotham, said the rigid time limits were an “artificial control on democracy” and it was “crazy” to expect councillors to properly question reports in just 30 minutes.

“It is ridiculous when soft motions that nobody could possibly argue with are debated for 52 minutes even with the whole council in agreement,” he said. “