AMBITIONS to create a newsletter informing residents of the happenings from Andover Town Council have been put on the backburner after mixed views were raised.

The authority’s Budgets and Staffing Committee met last Friday night to discuss whether to use £4,840 for the production of the publication.

The money was proposed to be removed from the new Building Fund, which has already had monies taken from it for tea and biscuits at council meetings.

Speaking in public participation, former mayor Barbara Long and husband Nigel raised concerns.

Mr Long said Councillors Richard Rowles and Andy Fitchett had brought up the idea of a newsletter in previous years, adding: “To find that you now want to take almost £5,000 of public money to waste on a newsletter is beyond belief.”

While holding a sign in protest of the council’s actions, Mr Long added the authority already publishes a newsletter for its allotment holders and this could be developed.

And the lack of detail in the bid was criticised by Cllr Christopher Ecclestone, who said: “This is a bit skimpy on detail, how many houses is it going to? Is it going in the mail? Is it being delivered by pizza delivery men?”

But mayor Cllr Rowles declared the motion was not to commit to a newsletter, but to move the funds needed, as a working group had been set up to discuss the authority’s media policy which will feedback plans.

“It is my personal opinion in the past the town council has not promoted the activities which it conducts in its business.”

Councillor Lauren Banville added: “Some people obviously don’t have access to the internet since they are house-bound.”

She added that she thought it “was a great idea” for those people who are isolated.

But Councillor David Coole said the council should look at using Facebook and other social media platforms to spread the news.

The motion to move funds was voted down by four votes to two.