A BOROUGH chief has hit back at Andover town councillors over calls to scrap an ‘unfair tax’ on residents.

Deputy leader of Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) Councillor Nick Adams-King spoken out following claims that Andover Town Council (ATC) has been left with little option but to consider legal action in a bid to axe the Andover Special Levy.

As previously reported in the Advertiser, the levy is currently an extra £21.88 charge, for Band D properties, paid by residents in the parish of Andover on top of their usual council tax bill, and is used to pay for services such as cemeteries, playground maintenance and outdoor sports facilities in Andover.

However, some of these facilities are not solely used by those who pay for it - the Andover parish residents.

The levy, also known as the Andover Special Expenses Levy, was introduced when Andover did not have a town council and was used to stop residents who paid their own parish bills across the borough from funding services in Andover.

And at a meeting last month town councillors expressed their annoyance that TVBC did not seem to be taking the matter seriously and all “collaborative approaches” have been exhausted.

But Cllr Adams-King has struck back claiming that the town council has not been forthcoming in discussions over the levy and transferring assets.

He said: “I, and everyone at the borough council, have been clear in asking for a prioritised list of services from ATC in the order in which they would like to assume responsibility for them. Despite being given the detail of the services covered by the Andover Levy in two different formats we are still, some nine months later, waiting for their prioritised list.

“To suggest that there is any obstruction on the part of the Borough Council is entirely disingenuous. If the town council are unable even to provide detail of the order in which they hope to take over services from the Borough, that is perhaps is an indicator of their ability to run those services efficiently, effectively or even at all.

“The door remains open for the town council to bring their proposals for transfer and onward management forward. Until such time as we receive those the Borough Council will continue to provide services efficiently and at the highest standard to the residents of Andover.”