HEATED debate erupted at Southampton’s Cabinet meeting last night (March 19) as the Green City Charter was pushed through – despite opposition members declaring they would call the document ‘back in’.

Opposition Conservative members were angered at their lack of input in the document, which aims to tackle all types of pollution in the city, despite “assurances” by civic chiefs of “cross-party working groups”.

As a result, Tory Councillor Peter Baillie, chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said the charter would be called back in to be debated once more - something he can do as chairman.

This will put the brakes on any further development of the charter.

Nevertheless, despite the threat, the charter was unanimously approved by the Labour cabinet.

The official call-in announcement was not yet been made.

During the meeting, Labour’s frontbench disagreed with the opposition claims, with leader Christopher Hammond telling his counterparts they had weeks to consult on the charter, which saw more than 1,000 respondents give their views.

Cllr Hammond also said that their “11th hour” opposition to the charter is just a “political stand” rather than actually caring about city residents.

“I think it is disgraceful,” he added.

But this was rebuffed by Cllr Baillie, who labelled the document as a “Labour charter”.