ANDOVER Town Council has passed a motion to condemn the way a mockumentary on town was released after it stirred controversy within the council and the community.

As previously reported, Cllr Joseph Hughes proposed the idea of producing a mockumentary during a council meeting in September.

The intention behind the project was to humorously showcase the town while also shedding light on its businesses and charities.

Collaborating with Andover College, Cllr Hughes embarked on the production of the film with the involvement of students.

He then went ahead and released the film before Christmas, independent of the council. This move triggered a wave of discontent among residents, prompting 16 formal complaints.

READ MORE: Andover Town Council agrees to The Office style mockumentary

Watch the mockumentary here: Town councillor unveils 'mockumentary' special ahead of Christmas

Tensions escalated further during a full council meeting last month, as councillors engaged in heated debates regarding the mockumentary's implications for the council's reputation.

Following this, a planning and resources committee of the Town Council that met on Wednesday, January 31, declared that the mockumentary impacted the reputation of the council since Cllr Hughes used the ‘cllr’ pre-fix.

Andover Advertiser: The planning and resources committee meets to discuss the mockumentaryThe planning and resources committee meets to discuss the mockumentary (Image: Contributed)

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Katherine Bird said: "It is a situation whereby an individual chose to ignore the advice and suggestions from fellow councillors, from staff and partners and legal professionals, and published something on an individual level. This was not published by taking the advice when it was very clear that this should not be published.

"I'm really sorry that this damaged relationships with our partners. I think it was taken during an amazing event. I don't think any of us intended this. I'm very, very sorry about what happened.

"I think it's really important to make it clear that it was against the specific and clear advice and recommendations of the council. So while we have a responsibility for what we produce, and make sure that everything is in place for immediate policy, we can't be held responsible for going against the recommendations."

The committee, chaired by Cllr Steve Hardstaff, also said the inappropriate use of council equipment for a personal video, and the subsequent coverage in the Advertiser impacted the local authority’s reputation.

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Cllr Joseph Hughes who was part of the meeting also clarified to the members that he takes ownership of the video.

Currently, the council is awaiting legal advice regarding the future of the mockumentary project.

The decision on whether to proceed with collaboration with Andover College will be contingent upon this legal guidance.