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Protest held following postponement of parish council meeting for religious holiday

David Lee

A protest took place after a parish council meeting was postponed because it clashed with a religious holiday.

Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council had been due to hold its annual full council meeting on Tuesday. But the meeting was pushed back due to it clashing with the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan which was observed this week.

Dexter Smith, who serves as both a borough and parish councillor, gathered with three of his Conservative colleagues and a handful of residents to oppose the postponement.

He said: “The parish council has always been ethically diverse, we have always respected members who gave apologies for not being present due to religious and cultural reasons. But I can’t think of one meeting of the parish council that has had to be abandoned because there were not sufficient councillors present.

“In the past councillors who couldn’t be present for a meeting trusted other councillors to transact business in the right way, which is in the interest of residents.”

A Labour Group spokeswoman said: “The decision was not about numbers in the room, but about recognising and accommodating the important religious festival days of all sections of the community and ensuring the Parish Council allowed the widest possible participation in meetings rather than being casually discriminatory.”

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