“I DON’T want to be a part of something that’s a farce.”

Those are the words of the latest town councillor to hand in his resignation and depart the authority.

Councillor Mick James (Andover Independents Party, St Mary’s ward) confirmed on Friday he will be stepping down from his role on Andover town council.

It means that eight members have now left the authority in the last eight months.

Cllr James says he was unhappy with “the way things are going” with “bickering and infighting” continuing amongst members and showing no signs of slowing down.

He also branded the town council “a waste of money” and says he’s written to the leader of the borough council asking the authority to “take back control” of town council affairs.

Speaking to the Advertiser on Friday, he said: “I think that to be honest with you the infighting and the bickering is not going to stop. When you’ve got people like Christopher Ecclestone putting out the ‘fat controller’ comment and all this and that.

“I let all that go over my head, but I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.”

Cllr James says a recent incident in which he felt “pressured” into voting for something while he was in hospital recovering from a mini-stroke was another contributing factor behind his resignation.

The vote was over whether or not a new mayor should be elected for the coming year. Cllr David Coole, who called the hospital to push through the vote, says his fellow member was aware of what he was signing for, but Cllr James says he felt he was “bullied” into it.

Reflecting on his 12 months in the role, Cllr James says he feels progress has been stunted by the squabbles.

“I feel like I haven’t achieved anything,” he said. “We’ve had all these meetings and everything and I haven’t achieved anything at all. Because everything’s been held up because of all the bickering.

“All I wanted to do was get out and have meetings with the ward and ask them what they wanted and what they wanted us to spend our money on, but I couldn’t even do that.

“Everything’s been held back. It’s not what I signed up for.”

Now he is calling for the borough council to step in and “take back control” of town council matters, as it had done before the local authority was revived in 2010.

“To be honest with you it just seems a waste of money having a town council,” he added.

“I wrote to Cllr Phil North [leader of the borough council] about it asking them if they would take back control of the town as a borough and run it through them. Because all they’re doing is wasting money.”

“I think it’s time the borough [council] took it over,” he added.

“They can run it how it should be run, without all this, because it’s not going to stop.”