TOWN councillors have agreed to reinstate the authority’s previous calendar of meetings after its schedule was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

No town council committee meetings have been held since early February, while there have been just two extraordinary full council meetings staged virtually via Zoom since lockdown began.

Until this week there were no plans in place regarding future meetings, but councillors have now agreed to re-introduce a full meetings schedule for the rest of the year.

A motion to hold a virtual council meeting on the last Tuesday of each month had ben put forward for consideration at Tuesday’s meeting.

But Councillor Luigi Gregori proposed going one further by proposing the revival of the full schedule of meetings, committees and all, that the council had previously agreed upon.

Addressing the motion he said: “I think the key for us is we really need to move back into a schedule of meetings. I can understand we need full council meetings, but more importantly we also need the committee meetings where much of the work is done.

“And I do feel if we just have full council meetings we will have a problem in that we will have a huge amount of work to get though in those meetings. So my view is to reinstate the schedule that was agreed beforehand.”

Cllr Barbara Long agreed, while also pointing out that events such as the Shilling Fair would not have had the funds to operate this year due to committee meetings to approve funding not being held.

Cllr Rowles noted that he felt it was the prerogative of committees and their members to decide when and where they meet, hence why a more detailed schedule had been left off the meeting agenda.

Concerns were also raised over potential clashes with other meetings, such as those of the borough council, on which a number of town councillors also hold seats.

But Cllr Robin Hughes argued that the town council should not let such considerations be a hindrance to its own business, adding: “It’s for us to decide what’s important for Andover town council.

“People who are wearing dual hats, that’s for them to decide what meetings to go to if that conflict comes up.”

The motion to reinstate the previous calendar of full council and committee meetings was approved unanimously by the six councillors who attended the meeting.