A TOWN councillor has said the council stands by its decision to withdraw its support for a musical event which took place for the first time earlier this month.

Chair of Andover Town Council’s community engagement committee, councillor Andy Fitchet, has reaffirmed the council’s position that it was right not to support the Andover Proms in the Park music event which took place on Sunday, 9 September.

As previously reported by the Advertiser, Andover Town Council unanimously pulled its support just weeks before the event, saying it could be left with a possible liability of £20,000.

He said: “Everyone who I have spoken to who that attended had a great time, which is really good and I know the team put in a lot of effort.

“However I am led to believe that the numbers in attendance were significantly lower than hoped for.

“I think as a council we made the right decision to withdraw our support and the numbers reflect this.

“I hope a similar event can happen again in the town and can be better planned to encourage a wider range of residents to celebrate some of the great things we do as a country.”

Reasons give n for the council withdrawing its public liability insurance and administration support earlier this year included the council stating there was little to unconfirmed income for the event, meaning the town council faced a liability of up to £20,000 of taxpayers’ money, according to cllr Fitchet.

Despite being disappointed with the council’s decision, event organiser Richard Rowles vowed Proms in the Park would still go ahead in support of two charities - Andover Mind and the Countess of Brecknock Hospice.

Andover-based businesses came to the rescue by offering their support of the event after hearing of its predicament.

Some of the businesses that showe d their support included KJM Windows, Active Staff, Tip Top Balloons, Villagio, New Street Dental Care and David Mellor Jewellers.

The event, which featured an array of local musical talent, was financially underwritten by Andover Radio with a grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

In response to cllr Fitchet’ s comments, Mr Rowles, said: “Why are they making a statement on an event that has nothing to do with them?

“It’s not for them to thank a team that worked hard to save an event they tried to destroy.

“The reason why the number was down was because of the negative publicity due to the town council’s decision - people thought it was cancelled.

“The second reason was because of the bad weather, which I believe deterred people from coming.

“The team that turned up, despite the torrential rain, they were absolutely brilliant.

“Everything was in good humour it was the best kind of Britishness to make sure it went on, and thanks to the people that turned up - that’s what it’s all about.

“We all had a great time, it just goes to show how good events can be that are not organised by the town council.”