POLITICAL parties in Kirklees should abandon petty point scoring, a Tory councillor said today.
Kirkburton councillor Mark Hemingway claimed too much squabbling during question time at full council meetings was killing healthy, open debate.
He said it turned politics into a game.
"We have members in all groups asking silly questions. It's like a game and nobody wins.
"The people of Kirklees are losing out," he said.
Clr Hemingway, who has been on the council just over 18 months, said policy-making and mutual respect had taken a back seat to sniping across benches.
He is calling for a change in the question time format to benefit all parties and encourage important debates about new policy.
He said hours of research by individual councillors were being wasted when motions were rushed through because question sessions had taken too much time.
"So many people are trying to score political points in question time that motions, which are the important thing, are not being properly discussed," said Clr Hemingway.
He is now mustering a cross-party deputation of ward councillors calling for change.
He has contacted all 72 Kirklees councillors for their opinions and says the reply from many has been positive.
"So far I have had responses from every political party with people in full agreement."
Clr Andrew Cooper, leader of the Green group, said he agreed in part.
"My view is that full council is the least useful meeting I attend," said Clr Cooper.
"We have a minority administration and a majority of people who will ask anything at any time for any reason to get political points.
"It's being treated as a game but the thing is the reason that people are behaving this way is because they perceive there will be winners and losers."
A different political make-up could provide an answer, he suggested.
"I don't think just changing the deckchairs on the Titanic is going to resolve the problems. I think we have got to build a new ship."