COUNCILLORS were questioned as they made a bid to revert a decision to change meeting dates.

At a full meeting of Andover Town Council on August 16 members of the Andover Independents group protested against the authority’s use of alternative venues — at a cost — and scheduled Friday meetings.

Councillor Christopher Ecclestone said: “There is quite a considerable cost of the use of this estate [upper Guildhall] and Rendezvous. We need to have a budget for these items.”

Figures for the cost of the rooms were supplied by town clerk Wendy Coulter.

And Councillor Joanne Coole said that the cost is £150 more than last year.

She said: “Why has the amount of full council meetings doubled from six to 12.”

Councillor Joanne Coole urged members to back her proposal of using the the council offices and reducing the number of meetings.

In support, Councillor David Coole said: “Reduce the amount of full council meetings to nine per year, utilise Andover Town Council offices more as in previous years.”

He added: “We move to reduce the amount of full council meetings and to another day. Many people complained about it in our first meeting. Many people are attending because we are new and they want to see what we are doing.”

The only independent councillor Andy Fitchet expressed amusement at the trio’s move to change the meeting dates.

He said: “I just have to point out the irony. The reasons we have all your Friday meetings because ‘lets change what was done by the previous council’… and in the same breath saying this doesn’t work.”

He added that it was Cllr David Coole’s suggestion to change the meeting days.

“And may I suggest that it is courteous if you are going to propose meeting dates of committees and other things to talk to the chair. There maybe a specific reason for these meeting dates.”

He continued: “Fridays are rubbish for a meeting, I don’t want to be sat here with all of you, some people I would never like to see in my life, but I have got to as this is what was decided by the majority of the party.”

Andover Town Council’s meeting schedule was changed at the first meeting following May’s election, with the majority now taking place on Fridays starting with a committee meeting and then full council.