A COUNCILLOR was asked to clarify his position on Andover’s Business Improvement District (BID).

At a meeting of Andover Town Council on August 16, Councillor David Coole had to reiterate his views on the organisation after it had come to light he is now working with them.

Test Valley Borough Council member Councillor Iris Andersen directed a question to Cllr Coole about the work in connection with the Andover Festival of Motoring during public participation.

She said: “I see that you are working with the BID, are you working together with them now?"

Cllr Andersen congratulated Cllr Coole, to which he replied: “As a councillor no I am not working for them, as a director of Our Andover asked by Andover Festival of Motoring team to seek sponsorship from them."

He added: “As a councillor I have been having discussions with the BID manager and director all with a focus to deliver something better than the BID.”

Cllr Coole also said that he hopes that there will be “some sort of movement towards something better than the BID”.

Steve Godwin, BID manager, says the organisation welcomes the opportunity to work alongside groups such as Our Andover and that it makes “absolute sense” to do so.

He told the Advertiser: “Andover BID is keen to work with its stakeholders and partners in supporting and providing a wide range of initiatives and opportunities aimed at promoting the good of our town centre and High Street.

“The BID was established in April of this year and is initially in place until 2024 before our re-ballot process takes place.

“We are already working to our business strategy, supporting businesses and working with a number of organisations and individuals in building effective working partnerships, ensuring that our work is co-ordinated and avoids duplication as much as possible.

“Our objective is to listen to businesses where appropriate, to be a supportive and collective voice for them and to deliver the best possible outcomes for our town.

“It makes absolute sense and is a pleasure to be working with organisations like Our Andover and supporting the festival of motoring and other events for Andover.

“We represent over 200 town centre businesses within our geographical area we are always open to exploring  other ways of working with the aim of enhancing the impact of BID in the town.”