A WILTSHIRE political leader has accused Wiltshire Council leaders of closing the door on open and transparent local government.

Ian Thorn, who heads up the Liberal Democrats – the largest opposition group to the Conservatives – was furious as he, and other councillors, were blocked from asking questions other than on agenda items.

During the cabinet meeting, council leader Richard Clewer said this was due to the packed agenda.

"We've got a very packed agenda and lots of other things to do today so I'm not going to be takign any further questions at this point," the leader said.

"We will take specific questions on cabinet agenda items as they come up.

READ MORE: Vandals chop fire doors in half and wreck havoc in multi-storey

"Its within the gift of the chair to decide and we've got a packed agenda today and meetings this afternoon."

When Cllr Thorn asked if this would be a feature of cabinet moving forward; Cllr Clewer replied that it was a feature of that particular cabinet meeting.

After the cabinet concluded, Cllr Thorn tweeted out his disdain for the decision taken by the council leaders.

“Worrying development at Wiltshire Council cabinet this morning when councillors were prevented from asking questions of cabinet members on issues not already on the agenda,” he wrote.

“This is a long held tradition which seems to have come to an end. So much for open and transparent government.”

READ MORE: Drivers flaunting the speed limit hit with nearly £7,000 in fines

He later said that there are so few ways for other political groups to hold the administration to account.

“This morning’s cabinet seems to have closed another avenue,” he added.

Wiltshire Council has been contacted for comment.

After the meeting, Cllr Clewer said: “There are opportunities to raise specific questions at the start of cabinet, with further points for anyone to ask questions as each agenda item is discussed.

"We had a packed agenda at cabinet this week discussing important strategic issues for the council including adoption services, Melksham campus, social care provision, the process for people coming out of hospital and the new Integrated Care System.

READ MORE: More than 20 trees to be cut down and replaced

"On each of the nine issues, all councillors in attendance were asked if they had any questions they wanted to raise on those topics.

“There are also ample opportunities to seek information outside of cabinet, and all Cabinet Members are always willing to answer any questions.”