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Councillors Close Rank on Secret Leisure Centre Vote

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Local News | Councillors Close Rank on Secret Leisure Centre Vote | Andover & VillagesTest Valley Borough Councillors closed ranks this week when they were contacted by Andover & Villages and asked how they voted in the full council meeting on 9th November 2016, in which Places for People were appointed the preferred bidder for the Leisure Centre Management Contract.

Following contact from Andover & Villages, the TVBC Communications Manager, Avril MacDonald, sent out an email telling councillors they were under no obligation to disclose how they voted in the secret vote and that Andover & Villages had been told twice that the vote was not recorded.

However, prior to the email, most councillors had already been spoken to and had answered; following the email, ten refused to answer, including seven Conservative councillors and the 2015/2016 Mayor, Iris Andersen, who told Andover and Villages that she had 'forgotten' how she had voted and needed to check her notes. The full list of voting councillors can be seen below.

The full council meeting on 9th November 2016 discussed the upcoming leisure contract which was led by portfolio holder, Cllr Tony Ward. One councillor who wished to remain anonymous told Andover & Villages, "On the basis that Cllr Tony Ward recommended we vote for Places for People, and that their presentation was professional and complete, I voted in favour of the proposal.

"However, when I voted to award the leisure centre contract to P4P, I had absolutely no idea that the pool would be closed for two years, had that been openly disclosed as part of the presentation, I almost certainly would have voted differently."

Hampshire County Councillor, Tony Hooke told Andover & Villages, "There are three parties in this situation, TVBC, Places for People and the public, there are only two winners, TVBC and P4P. At the very least, the public have lost their pool for two years and will face a price increase of up to 30%.

"The lack of real public consultation is unacceptable, no one thought to consult the people who actually use the facilities, its an absolute mess.

"I don't know who TVBC think they're serving but they certainly aren't serving the residents of Andover."

Hampshire County Council Candidate and Andover Town Councillor, Andy Fitchett said, "‘This whole deal between Test Valley and People for Places has been a shambles. The public are rightly angry about this deal and they have been badly let down by those who are elected to represent them.

"The secrecy around this deal including lack of consultation, private votes in council meetings, unwilling to reveal how members voted and personal connections between senior TVBC members and the contractor is like something out of a novel.

"This deal was struck so the new centre can be open in time for the 2019 election and the current councillors can parade around and knocking on doors telling everyone how great they are. I am more determined than ever to see a whole new raft of people elected in Test Valley seats at all levels of government because the residents of Andover deserve better than this, they deserve to be put first for once and not left as an afterthought.

"I hope Test Valley truly understand the level of anger and frustration amongst the Andover residents and a deal like this doesn’t happen again.’

A spokesperson from Test Valley Borough Council said, "Following contact from concerned councillors, we have sent out an email reminding members that they are under no obligation to disclose to Andover & Villages how they voted in the closed vote on 9th November 2016."

Councillors who attended the meeting and how they voted:

Cllr N Adams-King (Conservative)

Ward: Blackwater

Voted: In Favour

Cllr I Andersen (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (St Mary's)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr G Bailey (Conservative)

Ward: Blackwater

Voted: Abstained

Cllr D Baverstock (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: Romsey (Cupernham)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr A Beesley (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: Valley Park

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr P Boulton (Conservative)

Ward: Broughton & Stockbridge

Voted: In Favour

Cllr A Brook (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Alamein)

Voted: Not Present at meeting

Cllr Z Brooks (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Millway)

Voted: Abstained

Cllr J Budzynski (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Winton)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr P Bundy (Conservative)

Ward: Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr J Cockaday (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (St Marys)

Voted: Abstained

Cllr C Collier (Conservative)

Ward: Romsey (Abbey)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr M Cooper (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: Romsey (Tadburn)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr D Denny (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (St Marys)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr A Dowden (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: Valley Park

Voted: Against

Cllr C Dowden (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: North Baddesley

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr D Drew (Conservative)

Ward: Harewood

Voted: In Favour

Cllr P Giddings (Conservative)

Ward: Bourne Valley

Voted: In Favour

Cllr M Hatley (Conservative)

Ward: Ampfield & Brashfield

Voted: In Favour

Cllr S Hawke (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Millway)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr A Hope (Conservative)

Ward: Over Wallop

Voted: In favour

Cllr P Hurst (Liberal Democrat)

Ward: Romsey (Tadburn)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr I Jeffrey (Conservative)

Ward: Dun Valley

Voted: In Favour

Cllr A Johnston (Conservative)

Ward: Romsey Extra

Voted: In Favour

Cllr J Lovell (Independent)

Ward: Andover (Winton)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr C Lynn (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Winton)

Voted: Declared Interest and Left the meeting

Cllr P Mutton (Conservative)

Ward: Penton Bellinger

Voted: Said she was not talking about it and hung up the phone.

Cllr J Neal (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Millway)

Voted: Abstained

Cllr P North (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Alamein)

Voted: In favour

Cllr B Page (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Harroway)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr T Preston (Conservative)

Ward: Andover (Alamein)

Voted: REFUSED TO DISCLOSE

Cllr I Richards (Conservative)

Ward: Romsey (Abbey)

Voted: In Favour

Cllr G Stallard (Conservative)

Ward: Anna

Voted: In Favour

Cllr A Ward (Conservative)

Ward: Kings Somborne & Michelmersh

Voted: In Favour

Comments   

 
#1 Paul Whyton 2017-04-06 18:57
kind of sums up the council, the statement that "P2P presentation was more professional" followed by, "they didn't tell us the pool would be closed for 2 years" implies it was less than professional and more a scam which the council have fallen for. End of the day the deal is done, little we can do now other than support those affected by the change, will wait and see what facility we get when the dust settles and whether TVBC and the developers design it to be functional and accessible or just as a method to tick a box ahead of elections.
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