By now we’re all used to seeing Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn sling insults at each other over Brexit.

But local councillors in Richmond could soon be giving the country’s leaders a run for their money after last week's full council meeting (September 24), which saw some very heated debates about the consultation for a low traffic neighbourhood scheme in East Sheen.

More than 1,300 residents across 94 different roads signed a petition asking the council to remove the scheme until a “full and comprehensive” consultation has been carried out with the whole of East Sheen. 

They also want to receive data on traffic levels in the area, and for the results of the current consultation to be analysed by an independent group.

They were particularly concerned about the increase in traffic after the closure of the Hammersmith Bridge at the beginning of the year and claimed that “only one or two roads” were benefitting from the initial trial traffic measures “compared to the majority of roads in the area.”

Petitioners also criticised the current scheme for directing traffic outside two schools and a nursery in East Sheen. 

However, the debate soon turned into a slanging match between the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Alexander Ehmann, the chair of the transport and air quality committee, and Conservative councillor Seamus Joyce.

Following weeks of Twitter spats, Cllr Joyce criticised the layout of the “crackpot consultation” on the low traffic neighbourhood, which he claimed was difficult to navigate if you wanted to vote in favour of a low traffic neighbourhood, but disagreed with the proposals suggested by the council. 

He also claimed that Cllr Ehmann’s “merry men of council officers” would not be independent when analysing the results, before accusing the council of “killing children in East Sheen by polluting more roads.” 

Cllr Joyce then tabled a motion to withdraw the consultation.

He said: “I would love to live in a low traffic neighbourhood but not this current one which only works for four to five roads.”

Cllr Ehmann dismissed the claims and called Cllr Joyce “a pound shop Boris Johnson” who wanted to “prorogue” a consultation on traffic measures in the borough. 

He added Cllr Joyce “had more positions on the consultation than Kama Sutra,” and criticised him about the irony of filming Twitter videos asking residents to email him for paper versions of the consultation document. 

Mortlake resident James Smith said he was tired of the arguments:

“The party political sniping between our local councillors has reached an absolute high. At this rate the council will have to start handing out bulletproof vests,” he said.

Cllr Joyce’s motion to withdraw the consultation was amended by Cllr Ehmann to say the council supported the principle of consulting residents and stakeholders on their views regarding a low traffic neighbourhood in East Sheen.

The amendment was carried and the consultation remains open until September 27.