THE Liberal Democrats increased their iron grip on Eastleigh Borough Council by taking another seat from the Conservatives.

Hamble and Butlocks Heath was the only ward to change hands last night.

Veteran Tory councillor Bill Pepper was beaten into second place by Lib Dem newcomer Susan Ingram.

The Lib Dems now hold 38 seats, the Conservatives four and Labour two.

The Tories have been wiped out in Eastleigh's southern parishes and a jubilant Lib Dem group leader Keith House said: "There are no Conservative councillors in Chris Huhne's parliamentary constituency. It is pretty miraculous. Hamble has always been a bastion for the Conservatives."