TWO councillors have called for town's council tax precept to be reduced by 20 per cent next year.

Councillors Richard Rowles and Christopher Ecclestone have put in a motion in regards Andover Town Council (ATC) expenditure and core service provision.

The motion was set to be discussed at a full council meeting tonight.

In the agenda the councillors propose to reduce the town's levy by a 'reasonable amount' in the next financial year.

It added that this would be 'more than a token gesture to struggling families in Andover but is both responsible and fair to the people we represent'.

The motion further stated: "In terms of money that ATC holds we are guardians of the public purse and with so many council tax payers reliant on food banks we need to be as frugal as possible to reduce our portion of the council tax burden to a minimum while still providing quality services and providing, most importantly, "value for money".

"In an ideal world the council would have income matching expenditure (i.e. a balanced budget) and there would be no unnecessary burden from the town council to the taxpayer.

"Whilst we are a council and not a business, we should still show to the taxpayer that we are responsible and frugal, and that if we ask for money to supply services like the allotments or the Christmas lights we should be clear about the outcomes for our community and the value this represents.

"We can consider this the Social Return on Investment (SROI).

"However upon inspection we struggle to find evidence to justify the SROI given the total tax take from the taxpayer."

Councillor Rowles said: "Two years ago we doubled the amount we asked residents to pay to run the town council.

"The precept has stayed the same but actually we don't need to ask for that every year.

"I'm just concerned if we don't stop asking for that money we're not doing the right thing.

"We needed the money two years ago but they were largely one-off costs.

"Why are we still asking for that money?

"The town council has to do whatever it can to reduce the burden on residents."