THE mayor and deputy mayor of Andover are putting their history behind them as they work together on a set of ‘adjusted priorities’ for the town council.

Councillor Richard Rowles and Cllr Lauren Banville, mayor and deputy mayor respectively, had been involved in a romantic relationship last year, which ended acrimoniously after the latter’s resignation from the Andover Alliance in October.

Now the pair are looking to ‘put their differences aside’ and, along with Cllr Alison Watts, are calling for fellow members to support their proposal to ‘refocus’ the authority’s efforts over the coming months.

The councillors have put together a proposal outlining areas in which they believe the council should prioritise in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

A document states: “We believe the situation with Covid-19 will continue for many months and therefore a requirement exists for the Andover town council to refocus its efforts on core function, providing protection for its own employees, and most importantly of all harnessing the money the Andover town council has in the interests of a recovering community.”

The new priorities include helping ‘struggling charities and non-profits’ in the town, as well as a plan to work with the police to fund a new PSCO for Andover. Allotments and the town’s Christmas Lights spectacle will remain key priorities.

Meanwhile, the trio are proposing to ‘deprioritise’ issues including the reorganisation of the town council, discussions with the borough council regarding the Andover special expenses levy, all events other than the Christmas lights and more.

Cllr Rowles said that the shift of focus was necessary as the council’s existing priorities and budget was no longer applicable following the outbreak of coronavirus. He cites the £40,000 events budget as an example of this.

“We set a budget and there’s £40,000 set aside, but public events will be the last thing that will be allowed back,” he said.

The mayor added: “If me and Lauren can put our differences aside and work together for the good of the town then anyone can, because there’s a lot more important things than egos and whatnot at this moment.”

He also denied that he and Cllr Banville were back in a romantic relationship.