TOWN councillors will continue to be unpaid volunteers after they turned down an offer to consider receiving payments for their work.

Andover Town Council’s policy and resources committee discussed and declined an opportunity laid out to all parish and town councils to have a members’ allowance scheme created or reviewed by Test Valley Borough Council.

This is the second time the offer had been given since the town council was set up in 2010.

Those councils willing to gain or review allowances are interviewed before a panel with its proposal set at a certain cost.

Committee vice chair Katherine Bird said: “We are still unpaid volunteers, we all do it because we care about the community and do it to support Andover.

“It was a completely unanimous decision.

“There was a good discussion, there is a concern people would be put off being a councillor because they can’t afford to do it due to childcare or elderly relatives who need a carer in place to come to meetings.

“There was a discussion if that was enough of a barrier to people to warrant the amount of money Test Valley Borough Council would charge us to do it.

“We are not aware of people who have been put off volunteering because of caring duties and actually the town council is very flexible and very accommodating.”

Parish and town councils could be charged in the range of £900 in a cost shared out by all authorities willing to go through the process of interviewing and receiving a recommendations report.

The letter from Test Valley Borough Council read: “It is not, of course, mandatory for town/parish councils to establish an allowances scheme but should you decide to proceed with the creation of a scheme, the allowances paid to members of parish councils under the scheme would need to be met out of your council funds.”