OPPOSITION councillors have called for car parking charges to be slashed in a Hampshire town.

Councillor Godfrey Olson, below, wants the Liberal Democrat run Eastleigh Borough Council to take action to bring more shoppers to the town centre.

He also raised concern that the town might need more car parks with a predicted influx of workers for the council’s new town centre home.

Eastleigh House, which will replace the civic offices in Leigh Road next month, has no parking.

Conservative leader Cllr Olson pointed to other towns like Romsey, where parking costs less and is free after 4pm, and free parking in Hedge End.

He acknowledged that car parking was a “cash cow” bringing in £2.7m a year, but said it needed to be looked at otherwise people would stop coming to the town centre and it could “die on its feet”.

Councillor Louise Bloom said the £1.6m net earnings from car parking was a good thing as if the money did not come from car parking it would have to come from somewhere else and this was something people had a choice whether to use.

Cllr House said that the Conservatives were not providing any a l t e r n a t i v e sources of income.