Councillors have said they are “disappointed” following the outsourcing of council rules to an advisor.

Andover Town Council’s standing orders and financial regulations are to be reviewed by Caroline Godfrey, an advisor from The Society of Local Council Clerks who has been working with the council following the fallout of staff grievances in the past year.

However, councillors working on an overview group for these rules called for better engagement with them as they “aren’t that far away” from completing their own review.

Councillor Luigi Gregori said: “Frankly, I do not understand this. It has been going on for quite a while now. I was disappointed that despite the hard work of my colleagues it has been put aside and we’re seeking to start from scratch again.

“I would suggest that at the next council meeting we put that [the group’s review] forward.”

Andover Town Council’s Policy & Resources (P&R) Committee met on Wednesday, April 22, and during the meeting noted that certain policies, such as human resources, are to be outsourced to external bodies.

A review follows controversy over how they have been implemented in the past year, with disputes over the authority of the chairman and an auditor raising concerns over contracts made by the council.

The outsourcing of standing orders and financial regulations, which control how council procedures work and money is spent, raised some eyebrows amongst councillors, as there is already a group currently looking at them.

Cllr Robin Hughes said: “We have a working policy group, and we haven’t done anything for a while, but I did circulate a document comparing our policies to NALC [National Association of Local Councils] ones to find out they weren’t that different anyway from the original NALC ones.”

He added that “clearly, some tweaks are required,” but that otherwise, the standing orders ‘were fit for purpose’.

Cllr Gregori concurred, saying: “I’m a bit disappointed as there doesn’t seem to be any engagement with councillors.”

He said that since the rules had been written, updates were required following their use in unexpected ways.

“Some, when they were written in the last administration, have been interpreted in ways I didn’t expect them to be used,” he said. “In terms of contracts it needs to be clarified even more so.”

“However, I don’t think we’re that far away.”

Concerns over the costs of the outsourcing were also raised, but town clerk Wendy Coulter said these would be covered as part of Ms Godfrey’s existing duties.

The town clerk said she would ask the advisor to contact the working group over the issue, and that a draft review document will be ready for the upcoming general meeting.