Councillors have voted to reduce the time given to taking questions from the public at their meetings.
Durham County Council agreed to limit the public questions section at full council meetings to ten minutes.
The limit can be extended on a council vote.
However, Liberal Democrat leader Amanda Hopgood said it was excessive.
“This is the one opportunity they have to address the full council. To limit it to ten minutes, I don’t think is acceptable,” she said.
Labour council leader Simon Henig said there had been many changes since the system was introduced, including the creation of Area Action Partnerships, which meant there were many more opportunities for the public to engage with the council.
Labour’s David Boyes said the setup had been very liberal but had been abused.
The changes were approved by 85 votes to 12.
Source – Northern Echo, 23 Jan 2015