A HAMPSHIRE council has raked in nearly one million pounds from parking charges and penalties, it has been revealed.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) made a total of £954,458 from on and off street parking, according to an annual parking report.

The data shows TVBC made £957,464 from off street parking, but had a deficit of £3,006 from on street parking.

The report also states the council made approximately £251,195 from on and off street parking fines.

Meanwhile, the council managed to collect £39,760 for on-street residents permit fees.

The data from the annual car parking report covered 2018 through to 2019.

Planning and transport portfolio holder at TVBC, councillor Nick Adams-King, said: "We do make a lot of money out of car parking, but if we were not making that money then people's council tax would have to be higher.

"There are a lot of people who say 'why don't you make it free', but it doesn't help bring people into the town.

"With on street parking, we administer it on behalf of Hampshire County Council and in April that goes back to the county. By law, we cannot make a profit from on street parking."

He added: "We look each year at parking charges and we try to make it as flexible as possible and as easy to make sure people use the town centres.

"We are also seeing if there is anything else we can do to get people to stay longer in town, because if you buy a 30 minute ticket you will rush back to your car in that time."

Cllr Adams-King stressed the council has not had to increase parking charges for the fourth year in a row, because they have been "very careful with money".

He said: "We keep track of what we are charging and we are also beginning the process doing the report for next year."

The parking report also highlighted the council continued "to provide free parking after 4pm, all day Sundays and bank holidays".