THE deputy town mayor has quit the Andover Alliance claiming that she was not “allowed a voice or fair vote”.

Councillor Lauren Banville will now serve as an independent representative and in the process of her resignation has bashed the party.

Cllr Banville, who was elected to the town council in May this year, said there are “a variety of reasons” she has chosen to walk away from the Alliance.

She said: “I will be an independent councillor in my own right. There are a variety of reasons [I've resigned] however mainly is that I don't feel as I am allowed a voice or fair vote, and I can't voice the opinions of our residents.

“I feel the Andover Alliance is a local party with a national political attitude and although they are meeting manifesto promises I don't believe that those parts of the manifesto are what the residents and town needs right now.

“Despite my best efforts, protests and advice, the leader is adamant on manifesto delivery which I believe they will achieve. However, I do not feel that at this point in time that hard politics should be factored into a small town council especially given the uncertainty of Brexit, our government and economy. Therefore as we cannot reach an agreement I have decided to go independent, this way I have more flexibility to enable me to continue assisting with the town council operations in order to meet residents needs and town requirements.”

It comes after there appeared to be tension between Cllr Banville and town mayor Councillor Richard Rowles at a meeting of the full authority last Friday.

She added: “I would like to thank everyone at the Andover Alliance this has not been an easy decision to make however it is for the best I wish them every success in their endeavours.

“I will of course continue as deputy town mayor and continue to support all councillors in all wards and parties regardless of political affiliation. My priority for the next 12 months is establish operations on a solid foundation in order for the town council to transform and develop the service in order for it to become the best I know it can be so that it becomes a sustainable asset for future generations.”

The Advertiser understands that statement from the Andover Alliance and Andover Town Council will be issued.