THINGS got heated when a councillor accused the city's Lib Dem administration of working "behind closed doors".

At a cabinet meeting Cllr Linda Gemmell questioned the leader's transparency.

A debate ensued, with Cllr Gemmell saying the leader was "all talk and no trousers". The Mayor of Winchester Cllr Patrick Cunningham had to end the discussion.

"Considering the paucity of the full council agendas in the past year can you tell me what exactly has gone on behind closed doors that has not been brought forward for full council...and when we will be able to see it?" Cllr Gemmell initially asked.

From Cllr Lucille Thompson, she received the reply: "We were given the option of cancelling the meeting but we felt it was really important to allow members of the public and councillors to put their questions to the administration.

"There are no decisions being made ‘behind closed doors’. I would have thought that the large number of additional cabinet meetings we have slotted into the calendar taking decisions on a variety of issues – CIL Spending Programme, the Vaultex Site, The Bar End Depot, our response to the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, amongst other things – all online and in public, clearly demonstrates that this is not the case."

Cllr Gemmell thanked the leader for her response.

But things quickly turned sour when she added: "Where's the transparency? You are all talk and no trousers."

"I don't know how much more transparent we can be – what do you expect?" responded Cllr Thompson.

"All meetings are held online and we encourage all members and the public to take part."