A VOTE of no confidence in the town’s mayor is to be tabled at an emergency general meeting on Friday.

Councillors on Andover Town Council will be debating the future of Cllr Richard Rowles.

The motion has been put forward by Cllrs Rebecca Meyer, who proposed the motion, and Christopher Ecclestone, who seconded it.

Both councillors were previously members of Cllr Rowles’ party the Andover Alliance, but were expelled from it and went on to form the Andover Independents Party with Cllr Jo Coole.

A vote of no confidence in the mayor had been called for by Cllr David Treadwell, the other elected member of the Andover Alliance, in an email sent on November 10, who accused him of “not allowing councillors to speak at meetings” and “mak[ing] up council rules that do not exist.”

In it, he had called on Rowles to step down voluntarily or face a vote of no confidence, which Cllr Treadwell said was the only way he could see “this situation being halted and resolved sensibly.”

He also asked other members of the town council if they would be willing to support such a move, which has now taken place.

Cllr Rowles told the Advertiser the vote was “irrelevant and bizarre.”

He said: “To be honest, the result of the vote is irrelevant, the Andover Independent Party have been told this, but still insist on it.

“It’s a complete waste of tax payers’ money, which they appear consistently good at.

“A vote of confidence has zero effect in local government law relating to the chair of a parish or town council. It’s bizarre.

“Andover is in crisis and all they can do is waste the time on this.”

He added: “Having been kicked out of the Andover Alliance, they certainly know how to hold a grudge.”

Last month, five full-time members of staff at the town council were placed on leave after it emerged there were concerns for their safety.

An interim clerk had to be drafted in to allow the council to reopen to the public.

An investigation into alleged bullying and harassment is currently underway by an external team.