Cllr Audrey Shephard and former mayor Cllr Peter North faced a torrent of abuse at the meeting, as protesters booed and hissed and called for Cllr Shephard's resignation as mayor.

The outcry follows a recent public consultation on the plans for a youth centre development in the Memorial Park, Yorktown Road.

The survey revealed an overwhelming 2,381 residents were against the centre being built in Brookside Field and only 236 were for it.

The crushing result forced councillors to take a vote last Thursday at the Sandhurst Town Council meeting. Residents claimed the inevitable victory and cheered and applauded as, one by one, councillors voted against the plans going ahead.

Cllr Dale Birch and Cllr North, who have both fought furiously in favour of the centre and voted to save it despite the opposition, voiced their extreme disappointment at the lack of support.

Cllr Birch said: "I remain committed to the young people of Sandhurst. There have been huge amounts of misinformation spread and things have been blown out of proportion.

"I want this community to understand what it has lost.

"In the coming weeks and months, I hope we will fully understand the facility that could have been there and ignore the cheap political shots that have been used against it."

Cllr Bob Piggin continued: "I find tonight very sad. If there had been an equal number of young people here tonight as the number of adults I think they too would be very sad.

"I am disappointed we are not surprised by tonight's outcome."

Cllr North said: "I want to leave the door open for the young people of this town. I would like a commitment from the residents' associations that they will work with us on this issue.

"If there are real people with real needs and you are not against them, then I want you (the residents) to use some of the energy you have shown here tonight in working with us."

After the vote, Cllr Birch presented the council with a petition drawn up by young people in Sandhurst who believed the plans should still go ahead.

After the meeting, Val Crosby-Clarke, chairman of the Sandhurst Residents' Association, said: "I am obviously delighted with the

outcome but very sad we had to get to that situation."

"What struck me most was the great deal of loss of respect of residents for the council and the council for the residents. It was very sad."