A TEST VALLEY charity has been awarded a £6,000 grant to help with the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccination in the town.

At a full council meeting on Monday, December 7, members of Andover Town Council unanimously voted to accept the application from Unity.

Councillor David Coole said: “Covid-19 is having a devastating impact across the country and we have the opportunity for this vaccine.

“Unity has been asked to help run a vaccine programme but they are volunteers and unity had no budget for this.

“There is huge expense involved and it benefits the whole community of Andover. If nothing else that this town council does, this grant application approval indicates that this council cares.”

The council clerk updated councillors on the emergency grant funds still available to them.

They had £5,000 left in grant budget and £10,000 in earmark reserves, and so Cllr Richard Rowles, chairman, proposed that the funds be taken from the reserves pot.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Rowles said: “I’m pleased to announce that your Town Council will be supporting the roll out of vaccinations in Andover to the tune of £6,000. Other local councils - TVBC and HCC - are also being asked to support the project.

“Andover alone has 50,000 people. So unless we want the vaccine roll out to take the best part of a year we will need to support the recruitment and set-up of a huge volunteer operation.

“By supporting this operation your Town Council is ensuring that we are reducing the possibility of Andover going back into higher tiers of lockdown which will negatively effect our people and our local economy.

“There is an argument that the government should pay for it, however given the national situation I for one am not going to haggle over the price of my garden hose to put out my neighbour’s house fire.”