A COUNTY councillor walked out of the Andover Museum joint management committee over a fellow member’s absence.

Cllr Tony Hooke left the meeting last Thursday after it was revealed that Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) leader Cllr Ian Carr would not be there.

“This is the fourth time in a row in over a year that Cllr Carr has failed to be here,” said Cllr Hooke. “I have said at the last meeting that he should be here. Are we going to take action?”

Cllr Pat West said that no decisions on action could be made until the constitution was checked.

Cllr Hooke responded: “I will excuse myself until that is sorted. I don’t believe it’s right.”

Cllr Carr said afterwards: “County councillor Hooke refuses to treat me or my council with any respect at all, and routinely criticises everything that we do. I, therefore, choose to avoid situations where he will initiate confrontation, which will adversely impact other people.

“The museum committee is one such forum. Cllr Hooke stormed out, as is his wont, when he found I was not at the meeting. How much worse would it have been if I had been present?

“The museum service is an important service. However, the way in which the service is delivered will change when the cross- subsidies between The Lights and the museum cease. It is likely that under the new arrangements TVBC will have little or no representation in the running of the museum.”