An Andover businessman has said he’s “looking forward” to the challenge after being selected to become part of the town council.

Nicholas Asamoah, 36, was chosen alongside Jason Sangster as the newest councillors for the town last week, following a contentious decision to exclude the public from hearing their pitches.

Now the dust is settling, the Advertiser sat down with the Andover Independents Party’s new councillor to hear about what he wants for Andover.

Having been born in Ghana, Nicholas came to the UK at the age of 11, where he settled with his family in Tottenham. After working in retail management for Gap, Matalan and Kiddicare, he decided to move out to Andover in 2016 with his wife and three children to start his own car valeting business.

“I cam to Andover as it’s a bit more safe and community driven than London,” he said. “There’s a bit more interaction with people and a great community.”

Having bought a house, Nicholas said that he knew the town was a “great place,” especially with all the villages nearby where he loves to walk his dog, Vibe. He set about getting involved with a variety of groups, including becoming a school governor and setting up his own youth football team, Ra FC.

“I’m not fazed by anything,” he says. “I was told you can’t launch a club on your own, but when someone says you can’t, I want to prove you can.”

Nicholas says that he wants the children at Ra FC “to be community driven,” and for the club to offer something “beyond football.” Before the interview, he had been collecting items from local businesses for a charity raffle, while parents from the club have been preparing shoeboxes for the foodbank.

“It’s encouraging to see that though people are struggling, some businesses are willing to give,” he says. “It’s not all doom and gloom.”

Nicholas says that he firmly believes in looking at the positive side of things, with his personal motto being “aspire to inspire before you expire,” which he has on his car and garage door.

“Andover could need a cheer up,” he said. “When people live in a place too long they don’t see the beauty of it. I want to see more events to make the town more vibrant, and a better place to raise a family. I want Andover to be a place for everyone, not just a few.”

Having run for the council twice before, it was third time lucky for Nicholas, who says he wanted to be a town councillor to “give up time to give back to community.”

One key element of his pitch as a councillor is his aim to “bridge the gap” between the young and old in Andover, as well as different cultures and ethnicities.

“I believe that the old have wisdom, and youth need it,” said Nicholas, though he may be something of an exception. “My face looks young,” says Nicholas, “but my soul is probably 102 years old!”

He admits that he knows the town council will be “a challenge,” but he’s looking forward to it. He says his skills in management will help him “work with diverse groups and personalities.”

He hopes to work together with other councillors to take responsibility, and prove to the community that the town council is benefitting them.

“Some are on council for the greater good, and others personal good,” he said. “I’m here for the community, and it will be a privilege to serve them.”