AN ANDOVER Town councillor said she “had the interests of residents at heart” when she nominated Cllr David Coole to become the new mayor, despite the “party problems of the past”.

Independent cllr Lauren Banville, who represents Harroway ward, nominated fellow cllr Coole to become the new town mayor at a full council meeting.

Cllr Coole’s election came after he controversially reported the town council to financial auditors within both ATC and TVBC following the setting of the budget for 2022-23.

READ MORE: David Coole elected as new Mayor of Andover at town council annual meeting

He had accused the council of “failing to approve a balanced budget, false accounting and serious mismanagement of its financial reserves and its balanced budget setting process”.

Despite the problems of the past, Cllr Coole won the election with eight votes from the councillors, with the only other nominee, previous mayor Cllr Barbara Long, receiving just four.

Cllr Banville, who nominated Cllr Coole, said “everyone should have a chance to showcase what they can offer”.

She said: “Members of the Council and public may well be baffled at my nomination of cllr David Coole for Mayoral Year 2022/23 given the ‘party problems of the past’.

“However, when I stood for election in 2019 I stood for variety and change to try to offer the best value for money to our taxpayers and residents. I strongly believe, in order to positively narrate a change in local politics, we must be accepting of ‘all' and 'everyone', regardless of race, age, ability, reputation, or, dare I say it, 'Facebook Life'.

“[I’m] Determined that 'everyone' should have a chance to showcase what they can offer [to], not just the town council, but the residents and peers alike moving into the future.

“I am also hoping that it shows the general public that regardless of the political party, fallouts and ill press, we have the interests of our residents at the heart of what we do first and foremost at Andover Town Council.

Cllr Banville said “INDYS” or “Stand Alone Independents” will feature in both central and local politics in the future “as predicted by industry experts recently”.

“Therefore we need to ensure and encourage individuality and showcase independence in our best principles which includes to support and to encourage each other as councillors in order to provide the best service for our fellow man, the taxpayer, who we represent regardless of the political landscape and pressures.

SEE ALSO: New town Mayor David Coole on what he hopes to achieve

“I look forward to working with the new mayor and deputy mayor [Cllr Rebecca Meyer], my fellow councillors and staff in order to continue to improve local services for local people.

“I am hoping that 2023 yields a new dawn for a positive political culture in the UK. That would be my wish."