The General Election may be over, but that doesn’t mean politics has quietened down.

Last week's full council meeting in Kingston [Tuesday December 17] was as lively as ever, with plenty of arguments over the council’s engagement with its residents and opposition councillors.

The leader of the Conservative opposition, Kevin Davis, even joked “I’m supposed to be the the council bogeyman that everybody hates,” as the Liberal Democrat administration were repeatedly criticised by Conservative and Green councillors as well as members of the public.

Conservative Councillor David Cunningham said he was “embarrassed for the whole council” over the changes the administration had made to the constitution at October’s full council meeting, which included increasing the threshold for petitions to be debated at full council, and removing public deputations.

“It doesn’t show us as the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames in a good light,” he said, criticising the changes as “draconian”.

It came after a community motion was brought forward to reverse the changes made to the constitution.

While Community Motions no longer exist under the changes made to the constitution in October, the motion was submitted prior to these changes, and was brought forward for debate.

It was led by campaigner James Giles, who recently stood as an Independent candidate in Kingston and Surbiton at the General Election, and received 523 signatures.

Mr Giles accused councillors of “wanting an easy life”, while fellow campaigner Dr Phil Bevin criticised councillors for not engaging or asking questions in response to public petitions and motions.

However the Liberal Democrats reiterated that the changes were made to ensure they can involve more people at earlier stages of decision-making, and that they had to be made to bring the council up to date with social-media petitions.

They said there was a  “risk of undue influence by small unrepresentative groups”, under the old system, but the constitution would be reviewed annually.

After some heated debates, the council simply noted that the motion had been received.

However, there was no let up from the Conservatives, who went on to criticise the council’s submission to the Local Government Boundary Review on where new electoral wards should be as “incorrect and misleading”.

Cllr Rowena Bass said the Lib Dems had not kept her in the loop while she was away and did not speak to her deputies about any changes, resulting in a submission that did not have cross-party support.

The opposition group went back and forth trying to amend the motion to make it clear they did not agree to the proposed changes, or contribute to the submission.

Lib Dem councillor, Tim Cobbett, even described the back-and-forth as a “panto”, but insisted that the plans were only a submission, and that the council does not make its own boundaries.

It eventually passed after Lib Dem councillor Patricia Bamford proposed an amendment that said other parties contributed “in part”