The row over the postponing of a parish council meeting because of the Muslim Eid Festival erupted again when members finally met yesterday and public question time erupted into an angry shouting match.

The Labour group on Colnbrook Parish Council is at loggerheads with Conservative members who led a protest outside the Village Hall over the postponement of a meeting.

The Conservatives were angry at the parish's new chairman Cllr Anup Babuta for sending an email two days before last Tuesday's planned meeting, postponing it because it would have coincided with the Muslim Festival of Eid.

The meeting was finally held yesterday - a week late, beginning with public question time.

One angry resident complained that Cllr Babuta's decision had introduced religion into the council's meeting schedules for the first time and other public voices were soon raised.

Councillors were soon shouting too.

Conservative members of the parish accused the Labour members who supported Cllr Babuta of being dictatorial and as the shouting increased one councillor - Christine Small - got up and went to sit with the public, announcing they clearly had more sense than her council colleagues.

Cllr Arnold Richardson said: "This is all getting out of hand and the meeting has not even started properly yet."

Cllr Puja Bedi said: "This parish council has always been diverse but this Labour party has brought tension and segregation."

Things quietened down later after public question time ended and councillors debated the issue of when meetings should be postponed for religious reasons.

It was agreed that a proper process needed to be agreed and a qualifying criteria established for which religious festivals should be accepted as a reason for not expecting councillors to attend meetings

After the meeting Cllr Dexter Smith - who led the protests over the postponement last week - said that he felt the angry outbursts from all sides had served a purpose, saying: "It was like a pressure valve being opened and the steam let out."

*The parish council will have its own office for the first time from July 1. It has taken out a lease on the committee room at Westfield Community Hall in Severn Crescent.