AREA Board boss Simon Jacobs has apologised to people who had hoped to give their views on climate change initiatives in Wiltshire, after he cut the item from the agenda at a meeting in Devizes on Monday evening.

Former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Jo Waltham posted an angry tweet about remarks he made about wanting to be ‘home in time to watch Silent Witness’ on the TV.

Mr Jacobs insisted that the Silent Witness reference was a running joke that had started about four years ago at Devizes Area Board meetings. Other area board regulars agreed it was an in-joke.

But Ms Waltham, who put climate change policy at the top of her electioneering in the run up to the General Election, did not see the funny side.

She tweeted: “Unbelievable! Chair of Devizes Area Board, Simon Jacobs, cuts climate emergency agenda item during the meeting because he wants to get home in time for Silent Witness!

“Many people travelled far for the meeting as Wilts Council are not presenting on this at all area boards.”

She later added: “He rather glibly said that it will be on the agenda for the March. What a waste of time. I feel sorry for all those who had prepared their presentations only to be disappointed.

“At the time I was furious.” Ms Waltham now plans to ask Marlborough Area Board’s meeting on January 28 to also add climate change to their March agenda for discussion.

A number of other people who had gathered to hear Wiltshire Council’s plans for tackling climate change and to speak about what local groups were doing were also not impressed when Cllr Jacons announced at 8.40pm the climate change debate would be moved to the next meeting on March 16 as time was running out.

He said later: “The agenda on Monday was the longest I have ever seen. It became obvious at 8.20pm that we were running out of time and we still had to consider a number of grants, which it was vital that we did.

“Even so the meeting still ran quite a bit over our 9pm deadline. I decided it was for the best to dedicate the whole of the next meeting, apart from statutory items, to climate change.

“It will allow everyone who wants to be involved to be there and have a say. I realise some people were upset but there was a lot of information given earlier.”