Basingstoke council cannot rule out providing overspill housing for other neighbouring authorities including London, the authority has said.

The borough council has a duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities and as such must "remain open to receiving requests from authorities".

It comes after The Gazette reported last week how an unnamed official from the council had met with the Greater London Authority to discuss housing needs in the capital.

But council leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said in a public meeting earlier this month that London Overspill "is not happening on my watch" and that he had not been to any of these meetings.

In response, MP Maria Miller said: "I know those conversations happened. In the past Basingstoke council officials have been involved in meetings about housing needs in London."

Now, Basingstoke council have confirmed that a meeting between councils from across the south east and the GLA did happen.

A spokesperson said: "The council would not consult the Greater London Authority on its local plan. However the council did attend a summit and a series of round table discussions held by the GLA involving councils from all across the south east, to shape the London plan and wider south east priorities.

"Our records indicate that the wider south east summit was held on December 9, 2016. There is no record of any other meetings taking place."

When asked if the council was considering taking overspill housing from other authorities, the spokesperson replied: "Work on the Local Plan Update is being undertaken to identify sites where the borough’s housing need can be met.

"The proposals do not include delivering housing numbers to meet other authorities un-met need."

But they qualified: "The duty to co-operate means the council will have to remain open to receiving requests from other authorities and these will be considered as and when they are received."

The news of discussions with the GLA emerged at a meeting that was debating the local plan update earlier this month.

At the meeting, Cllr Onnalee Cubitt, ward councillor for Basing and Upton Grey, said: "Who agreed to our council agreeing to take London overspill?

"Who is discussing with the Greater London Authority? Why have we elected members not been told until I received an email from the MP last week that we were negotiating with Greater London Authority?

"These are all extraordinary decisions, who's made them? Who is responsible for all this?

"I continue that my residents don't want a 65 per cent increase in the town."

The second part of the meeting will take place tonight (September 16).