Greens speak out on debate change

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MORE criticism has been made of ruling Labour members’ plans to change the way debates are held in full meetings of Sheffield Council.

Currently there is a 40-minute time limit for debates about each motion put forward by councillors, so several can be discussed.

But Labour wants to remove the time restriction to allow more councillors to speak on certain issues.

Coun Jillian Creasy, Green group leader, said: “The current arrangements have been developed over many years and the last change, to shorten debates to 40 minutes so we can discuss a wider range of issues, took months of patient discussion between all the parties.

“I have asked council leader Julie Dore to approach this in a more consensual way.”

Lib Dem leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed has already called the plans ‘unhelpful for democracy’ - claiming that Labour could limit debates criticising the Government and prevent discussion of local issues.

A Labour group spokesman said: “The problem is that at the minute many back bench councillors of all parties cannot speak on the motions because of time constraints, this will give them the opportunity if they wish to.”