Andover residents are set to have more of a say in the development of improvements in the town after the passing of a motion by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) yesterday evening.

The motion, brought by Councillor David Coole, said that the council should ask the Andover Vision Stakeholders Group to lead on improvements to Andover Town Centre street furniture and Vigo Recreation Ground. It was unanimously adopted by TVBC.

Andover Vision, which brings together residents, community groups and other organisations, will now consult with the public on what changes they would like to see brought to the town centre, be that new seating, lighting or plants.

Talking to the Advertiser, Cllr Coole praised the Conservative members of TVBC supporting his motion, saying that the move “demonstrated the huge benefits of political parties working together for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

He said: “TVBC unanimously voted in favour of my cross-party Motion, seconded by Leader of the Council Phil North, to ask Andover Vision to formally progress improvements to Andover Town Centre Street Furniture and Vigo Recreation Ground. For years these areas have been neglected and under developed by previous Borough administrations, despite complaints from residents.

“In May 2019, the current Andover Independents Party Borough Councillors Christopher Ecclestone and Rebecca Meyer and myself, were elected to deliver these improvements and I am proud to be able to say we are delivering. With the Leader of the Council's support going forward, we hope we will be able to achieve further collaboration to help deliver our other Manifesto Promises.”

The motion was seconded by Cllr Phil North, TVBC Leader, who told the council meeting “that along with putting on different events and trying to drive footfall that we also improve [the High Street’s] look and feel.”

He said: “Whilst it’s clear that some quick wins can be achieved like removing the horrible plant cages – and in the time the concrete balls - I’m keen that we consult with the people of Andover to make sure we make the right improvements. This has to include talking with disability groups to ensure any future street furniture doesn’t prove too much of a hazard. 

“I also back a similar course of action concerning Vigo Recreational Ground, with any improvements giving regard to the already adopted masterplan.”

He said he was “pleased” to back a cross-party motion and told residents to “watch this space” on how to get involved.

Cllr Iris Andersen, whose ward of St Mary’s includes Vigo Road, said that she was “looking forward to working with Andover Vision stakeholders and the masterplan.”

However, she added that the proposals “have to think of the people facing the park,” and called for a full consultation to ensure that everyone can benefit.