06:26PM, Thursday 12 November 2020
Tempers flared once more between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats this week as one councillor left a meeting early, claiming he had 'no confidence' in the chairman of the infrastructure overview and scrutiny panel.
John Baldwin (Lib Dem, Belmont) took issue with the fact that Cllr Mandy Brar (Lib Dem, Bisham and Cookham) – who is not a panel member – was not allowed to speak on the first agenda item, but a Tory non-panel member (Cllr David Hilton) was later allowed to speak on another matter.
Meeting chairman Cllr Julian Sharpe (Con, Ascot & Sunninghill) remonstrated with the pair, saying matters had ‘moved on’.
But Cllr Baldwin said that the council’s constitution requires non-panel members to give notice if they wish to speak, calling Cllr Sharpe ‘disingenuous’ and accusing him of ‘varying’ his powers to suit certain members, something the chairman denied.
“I can choose whether we open it up to questions at a particular time or not,” Cllr Sharpe replied, to cries of ‘this is not fair’ from Cllr Brar.
Cllr Baldwin then proceeded to leave the meeting, saying he will be writing a ‘strong note to the monitoring officer’.
“I am not going to participate in this meeting, because I no longer have the confidence that you are chairing impartially,” he said. “I am going to say goodnight to you all now. Good evening.”
Residents can watch the meeting back on the council's YouTube channel.
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