The Mayor of Andover, Richard Rowles, has responded to an email attributed Cllr David Treadwell which called on him to step down as chairman of the town council.

The email said that a vote of no confidence would be called if the mayor did not step down, an action Cllr Treadwell said was the only way he could see “this situation being halted and resolved sensibly.”

Rowles told the Advertiser that he will not step down, saying: “The Local Government Act [1972] says I’m chairman until we have the next annual meeting which we’ve already agreed will be next May.”

The email also noted a number of reasons for the call for the mayor to resign as chair, including staff being placed on gardening leave and solicitors appointed without consulting or seeking approval from other councillors.

Cllr Rowles told the Advertiser: “That decision was made with me and the clerk, and the solicitors have already gone through all this. The solicitors were instructed by Wendy and myself, and all parish councils can do this if a decision needs to be made in between meetings.”

He added that he totally denied allegations of not allowing councillors to speak at meetings, saying that he had “stopped people from talking about stuff that’s not related to the item that we’re discussing, and that is the job of the chairman.”

He asked for examples over accusations he had made up council rules, and said that the statement in the email that the accuracy of information sent to solicitors was “uncertain” was “like Schrodinger’s cat.”

Rowles said: “On the basis that he doesn’t know what I have and haven’t sent them, how can he make any statement with any weight whatsoever that says how accurate that information is?”

He continued: “The fact is [Surrey Hill Solicitors] are eminent in their field of advising councils, and you can’t honestly tell me they haven’t had a situation where the chairman of a council tries it on. They would know the difference, they wouldn’t risk their reputation on anything else.”

Regarding a lack of detail about the grievances being investigated, he said that “the grievance panel… are the only ones who will see that information,” adding that the outside body it has appointed will “hopefully be coming back with a report quite soon.”

The email then said that its author thinks the mayor “encouraged the staff to submit their grievances.”

Rowles said that the accusation must be withdrawn, and asked rhetorically if he was using “mind control powers.”

Cllr Treadwell is the only other elected member of Rowles’ party, the Andover Alliance, which is currently being re-registered with the electoral commission.

His calls for the mayor to stand down follow a call by other members of the town council for the mayor’s resignation over his handling of grievances “following a number of concerns regarding councillors having been received.”