The public will no longer be able to ask ad-hoc questions at a parish council's meetings.

On Thursday (September 5) Chigwell Parish Councillors voted to fall in line with Epping Forest District Council and only accept questions submitted before the meeting.

These must be submitted at 2pm the day before a council meeting.

The decision prompted a raft of queries in what was then the last free-for-all question sessions at the parish council.

Celina Jefcoate, a concerned resident, argued the new policy would hamper the democratic process and make it more difficult for voters to hold councillors to account.

The parish council has argued the new process will shorten the time between the asking of questions by parishioners and them receiving an in-depth response, which were often delivered at the following meeting.