The results of the Community Governance Review (referendum) were declared today, in which Test Valley Borough Council asked the people of Andover whether or not they wanted an Andover Town Council. Andover is currently the only un-parished area in Test Valley. Test Valley Borough Council were required to carry out the CGR (referendum), after receiving a petition of over 10% of Andover's electorate who said they supported the idea of a Town Council.
My view all along and I have voiced it on a number of occasions is that I am not convinced that Andover needs a Town Council. It has its benefits, it would inevitably create some civic pride, it could make comment on planning applications, it could raise funds and provide some local services however it would create an extra level of politicians, may cost more and have a limited say on major issues. While my own personal view is not a strong yes it also not a strong no - and I said if the people of Andover wanted a Town Council then I would be prepared to support one.
Today we have seen that 61.2% of the people that responded to the referendum support the setting up of a town council compared to 38.8% who have said no. I am of course disappointed that turnout was only just over 15% - but that tells me that 85% aren't concerned either way or they would have taken the time to reply. Therefore I am prepared to accept that it is the will of the Andover people to set up a Town Council and will be voting that way when it goes through to full council.