‘DISGRACEFUL chauvinism’, ‘blatant filibustering’ and ‘playing on Twitter’ created a heated debate at Gloucestershire County Council.

There were six items due to be debated at today’s full county council meeting at Shire Hall, but the meeting came to a close after completing just three motions.

Allegations were made that the Conservative members of the council, who hold 31 of the 53 seats, were carrying out ‘blatant filibustering’ after a debate on the Gloucestershire floods stretched for the vast majority of the two-hour meeting.

Debates on care staff and the national minimum wage, followed by public sector pay, were dispatched fairly quickly within roughly 30/40 minutes, leaving time left for the remaining four motions.

However, the debate on the motion dubbed ‘Gloucestershire flood and community resilience’ stretched on for the remainder of the brief two-hour session, meaning that debates on the adoption and promotion of electric vehicles, votes for 16-year-olds and state pension inequality for women were dropped.

Cllr Klara Sudbury (Liberal Democrat, Charlton Park & College) quipped on Twitter: “Conservatives talking out Labour motion on flooding @GCC so we run out of time for #WASPI motion #wheresthewomen.

“At least everyone is still awake at this time so that's a bonus #filibustering #WASPI #wheresthewomen.

“Time limit on motions at County Council mean filibustering effectively kills off later debates not matter how important, stifles democracy.”

Cllr Kate Haigh (Labour, Coney Hill & Matson) had proposed the debate on flooding, seconded by Labour Stonehouse councillor Lesley Williams, in a bid to remind communities of what has to be done to prevent further tragedies such as the floods of 2007.

“Disappointing that limited time for debate means electric cars and WASPI women motions not heard @GlosCC meeting,” she commented on Twitter.

County council leader Mark Hawthorne (Conservative, Quedgeley) took offence to the initial motion, stating that it made it appear as if flood prevention work was not ongoing and had been left behind.

Regarding the length of the debate on the issue and allegations of filibustering, he said: "The opposition knows there's no way we are ever going to get through six motions in two hours."

Further quips were still yet to come, with Cllr Vernon Smith (Conservative, Tewkesbury East) admonishing Cllr Sudbury for ‘playing Twitter’ during the debate, which she dubbed ‘disgraceful chauvinism’.

He alleged that councillors in the opposition had forgotten about the floods that devastated so many homes, a matter which was combatted by Cllr Haigh.

“I can assure you that the people in my division have not forgotten about the time that four feet of water flooded into their homes in a number of hours,” she said.

Councillors from both sides of the chamber alleged each other of ‘playing politics’ during the council meeting, which left much-needed debates by the wayside.

Cllr Rachel Smith (Green, Minchinhampton) decried the lack of reference to climate change in the flood debate, despite its longevity, and also the fact that her motion on the adoption and promotion of electric vehicles, would not be discussed.

“We are going to miss our own targets on air pollution and we must be Paris compliant,” she said.

“Well done for cowardly avoiding issues of public health, climate change, young people and equality for women.”