ANDOVER residents will now be able to catch up on the every up and down of town council meetings, after members voted to publish recordings on its website.

Andover Town Council meetings, currently held via Zoom, will be recorded and published to a Youtube channel, with the link included in meeting minutes.

The proposal was passed at a full council meeting on Monday, December 7.

Most councillors supported the idea, with only Cllr Barbara Long voting against, and Cllr Luigi Gregori abstaining.

It followed a separate “special motion” to record how councillors voted on every motion within the meeting minutes.

The proposal, put forward by Cllr Joanne Coole, Cllr David Coole and Cllr Nicholas Asamoah, suggested that the way in which councillors vote be made clear to members of the public, to “increase transparency.”

Cllr Joanne Coole said: “I believe we need more transparency with the community. I want councillors to be held accountable for how they vote. A lot of councillors either abstain quite a lot, that makes them appear ill-informed or vote against something due to dislike to the person proposing.”

Cllr Asamoah added: “Speaking some of the local residents, they distrust the town council big time and this will work towards building a relationship with them. Transparency is key.”

However, Cllr Robin Hughes said that he was “quite surprised” to see the motion being put forward because councillors already have the ability to request a vote be recorded at any time.He added that the recently established standing orders review panel should be given this recommendation, rather than full council, and pointed out that councillors can already request a recorded vote.

“It seems we want to tie the hands of our panel straight away. There is no need for this motion, people have only got to read our standing orders to see what’s there,” he said.

“Andover Independents Party councillors have had all their time in this council to just say at every vote asking for it to be recorded.

“If they’re so concerned, why have they not done so before? Why are they wasting this council’s time.”

However, Cllr Rebecca Meyer suggested that anyone who disagreed with the motion should rethink their position as a local representative.

She said: “I don’t know if its because I’m from America and we have more transparency, but if a councillor doesn’t want to be held accountable or feels pressure from someone else to vote a certain way, then maybe they shouldn’t be a councillor.”

Despite some confusion as to whether the proposal also required a special section on the website to record votes, or would mean they were included only in the minutes, the motion passed, six votes to two with three abstentions.This means that as well as recordings of meetings available to view online, residents will be able to see exactly how any town councillor voted on any given issue.