Liberal Democrat local councillors in the Cotswolds have appealed over a lack of engagement at the local council with the issue of same-sex marriages.

Joe Harris, deputy mayor of Cirencester and, at 19, the youngest deputy mayor in the country, had wanted the council to back a motion to ‘support the removal of the ban on same-sex couples being able to have a marriage through a civil ceremony’.

Tory leader Lynden Stowe refused to discuss a motion on marriage equality at a public meeting saying it was not within the council’s remit.

In a video plea, Mr Harris said they had wanted a “forum for discussion” after the Conservative MP for the Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, confirmed he did not support same-sex marriages. He says it was “disappointing” the controlling group did not want to discuss it, and a “sad day for the residents of the Cotswolds”.

Paul Hodgkinson Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group denies it is something which does not “affect the district”, saying there would be around 8,000 gay or lesbian residents affected directly, along with their family, friends and colleagues. He says he “felt discrimination” in the council chamber when discussion was “shut down”.

The councillors advise people to get in touch or come to council meetings to aid political discussion of marriage equality in the area.