Councillor Christopher Ecclestone said he would lodge an official complaint with the Monitoring Officer at Test Valley Borough Council and the Department of Communities and Local Government against the backdrop of EGM fiasco that saw four councillors being excluded from the meeting on Thursday.

Cllr Ecclestone called the EGM “a new low in local democracy” and accused the Proper Officer and mayor of excluding him from confidential sessions.

Cllr Ecclestone told the Advertiser: “A new low in local democracy was reached at ATC's Extraordinary General Meeting held on the 21st of January to discuss whether to contest a Judicial Review being brought by three councillors against ATC for its repeated illegalities and irregularities.

“I am lodging official complaints with the Monitoring Officer at TVBC and the Department of Communities & Local Government against breaches of Standing Orders and the spirit of government regulations that permit council meetings to move online during the pandemic.

“The Proper Officer has now permitted the mayor to exclude me on two occasions from Confidential sessions of the council via the mayor "turning off" access. Last night she omitted me twice from rollcall votes and then permitted the mayor to overrule a motion that was duly moved by me and seconded by Cllr [David] Treadwell as per standing orders. When I complained I was excluded.”

Cllr Ecclestone, who represents Millway Ward, also said the Town Clerk should go if she could not manage her role.

“With the council already on dodgy legal ground the last thing it needs is the official complaint on her actions. She should go if she cannot manage the role of Town Clerk in the council's meetings.”

Members of the press and public were also excluded from the EGM as the Cllrs deemed the topic of discussion was confidential and the public should not know about it.

All member of the council who attended the EGM, except Cllr Nicholas Asamoah, voted in favour of excluding members of the press and public from the meeting.