A BLAZING row over climate change questions saw a Lib Dem councillor walk out of a committee meeting on Wednesday (September 18).

Cllr Ian Pittock vowed not to return to Wokingham Borough Council’s management committee until Conservative councillor Pauline Helliar-Symons is replaced as chairperson.

This came after councillors from all parties quizzed climate emergency boss Cllr Gregor Murray about the actions included in the authority’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.

After an hour of debate councillor Helliar-Symons asked councillors to wrap up their questions so the committee could move on to the next item on the agenda.

She added members could email questions to Cllr Murray outside of the meeting if they had further queries, but Cllr Ian Pittock suggested this was “not scrutiny”.

Councillor Ian Pittock said members of his group would not be returning to committee meetings until Cllr Helliar-Symons was removed as chairperson.

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He told the News: “It is not good enough and she needs to be removed.

“It (the meeting) was not being handled very well and we have had past problems with that particular chair.

“Last night she was effectively shutting down scrutiny.

“The suggestion we should question (Cllr Murray) offline is abhorrent.”

However, Pauline Helliar-Symons hit back.

She told the News: “We have got a tradition in Wokingham Borough Council that members are polite to each other.

“This is not the first time this particular member has done that and he did this in a confrontational way.

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“I was going to ask him to leave the meeting had he interrupted again but he beat me to it!”