ANDOVER Town Council has declared a cost-of-living emergency in the town.

At a full council meeting on Thursday, September 29, the council unanimously passed a motion to declare the emergency and write to MP Kit Malthouse calling on him to put pressure on the government to undertake three urgent measures.

The calls are to reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year; to ensure the Government honours its commitment to reinstating the pensions triple lock to support Andover pensioners; and to implement an energy price cap on heating oil.

Introducing the motion, Cllr Jason Sangster said: “We're all aware of the current situation and its impact on day-to-day financial burdens. So I propose this motion to declare a cost-of-living emergency in Andover.”

The full council also passed another motion on insulating homes of lower income residents.

The town council called up the secretary of state of department for business, energy and industrial strategy to do more to support low-income households by “dramatically” improving the local authority delivery scheme, by doubling the funds available to the lowest income households, and expanding the threshold of household income to £50,000 per annum.

The council also called upon Test Valley Borough Council to urgently investigate the availability of other schemes and communicating with residents as to what options are available for improving their homes’ heating and energy efficiencies.

Introducing the motion, Cllr Robin Hughes added: “Since 2013, this government has not offered any real policies to increase levels of insulation. In fact, it's cut support and the rate since 2013 is cut about 90 per cent than what was being offered in the past.

“This motion is about calling the government to do more and also asking Test Valley Borough Council, who have actually got a pretty good record, to do some more in making sure that residents of Andover know their options.”