THE behaviour of town councillors is “farcical” and “shameful” and it is time to “push the reset button” on the authority, according to borough councillors.

Various members of Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) have criticised the town council over the behaviour of certain members in recent weeks.

It comes after public bickering on social media, plus a spat at last month’s full council meeting in which two members walked out after the chairman was said to have “snatched” the gavel from the deputy mayor’s hand.

Now, TVBC Councillor Iris Andersen says it is time to ‘hit reset’ and give the voters the final word.

“The whole lot should be disbanded, and it should be that the public can reselect again,” she said. “This is a parish council that should be giving a future to the people of Andover.

“It can’t go on like this, can it?”

Cllr Andersen says that “we didn’t see this from the last town council”, which was made up of independent members.

She also stressed that she does not want the town council scrapped altogether – rather she thinks it’s time to deselect the existing councillors and vote again on a fresh council.

“We have some very good councillors that are on there,” she said. “And as TVBC Cllr Phil North has said, we do have some very good town councillors on there that are on the borough.

“Give the people of Andover the choice to vote,” she added. “We need to push the reset button and have councillors stand on there as independents.”

Cllr Andersen was not the only borough councillor to criticise the town council’s recent behaviour.

Cllr Nick Matthews told the Advertiser: “It’s an absolute circus.

“I think it’s the most farcical thing I’ve ever seen in my life, behaving the way they are. It’s a disgrace. It’s worse than a children’s playground.”

Town Cllr Michael James was one of the two councillors to walk out of the January 20 full council meeting.

He said the behaviour of chairman Cllr Richard Rowles and the way he addressed the deputy mayor Cllr Lauren Banville was the main reason he left.

Cllr James said: “It was disgusting, it really was. That should never be allowed to be honest with you.

“I was quite surprised it was only me and Lauren that walked out. I was expecting Christopher Ecclestone to walk out as well because of the way [Cllr Rowles] spoke to him, but Christopher is a tough little cookie, so he sat it out.”