The Royal Borough has committed to reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 - but an attempt by some councillors to bring the deadline forward to 2030 was defeated.

The motion to declare an environment and climate emergency was presented at Tuesday's council meeting in Maidenhead Town Hall by Cllr Gerry Clark - Conservative councillor for Bisham and Cookham and lead member for sustainability.

The debate was watched by a large turn out of people, many of whom had greeted arriving councillors at the Town Hall with large banners calling for action on climate change.

But while councillors were united in their support for climate change action, a divide erupted during the debate over whether the council should aim for 2030 to achieve zero emissions.

Council leader Simon Dudley warned that the sort of actions that would need to be taken to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030 could have 'cataclysmic' affect on the Royal Borough's economy.

Cllr Clark said that the authority was not there to take part in a climate change auction about how low they could go when it came to numbers of years.

He said: "Anybody who wants to speak against the target, if they don't have evidence to back up how they can make it better they should stay silent."

The 2030 amendment to the motion was defeated but everyone voted to go for zero emissions by 2050 and to declare an environment and climate emergency.

Cllr Clark summed his motion up as "possibly the most important motion that may ever have been put to council."

The motion followed the presentation of a petition signed by 2,350 people to the council asking for action to be taken to eliminate carbon emissions by 2030.

Cllr Dudley summed up the situation, saying: "It's important we have a cross party agreement on this. It is too huge an issue - it is about the destruction of our planet and will require changes in our lifestyles."