A HAMPSHIRE council leader wants to change his borough’s name – because it’s too negative.

Anthony Briggs has suggested renaming Havant to South East Hampshire to improve the area’s image.

The Conservative, who has led the borough council for five years, claims the current name sounds like “have not”.

He said: “I think a name such as South East Hampshire has a much better ring to it than Havant. It is confusing to people. When I go abroad and I’m asked where I come from, I tell them and they have no idea where it is.”

But the idea has been dismissed by local residents proud that Havant’s name was recorded in the Domesday Book.

Chris Everitt, chairman of the Havant Group Business Centre, said: “There will be a lot of opposition. People here are proud and there is no way they would stand to lose such an important part of their heritage.