Conservatives are calling for free parking in Fleet town centre.

Charges currently apply 24 hours a day but the Tories are demanding 30 minutes free parking after 6pm and Sundays as a start.

Among those backing the free parking bid is Gavin Evans, Hart District Council's cabinet member for Fleet town centre. He said: “If I want to pick up a pint of milk or a takeaway in Fleet one evening, I have to pay a pound to park for five minutes. It’s the same on Sundays if I want to pop into a local shop.

“It doesn’t make sense. We need to support local businesses and if we want to revitalise the town centre we have to make sure Fleet is as welcoming to visitors as possible.”

Cllr Evans said that thanks to the Conservatives’ com-petent management of council finances, the Tory-led council is now on a sound financial footing. “Despite the cuts from central government, Conservative-led Hart has frozen council tax for the past four years,” he added.

“The Conservatives are already committed to yet another freeze in council tax this year and believe the council can afford to increase its support for our high street, adding to a number of initiatives for Fleet to revitalise the town centre.”