An almighty row has broken out in Wincanton and other Somerset market towns (Cary, Crewkerne and Chard) over car parking charges.
South Somerset District Council (highest council tax in Somerset, £1.3 million payout to senior execs) is short of money, and wants to extract more from (no surprises) motorists and shoppers, who already pay their council tax.
Wincanton currently has no parking charges, and there is little doubt that the struggling High Street will suffer if charges are introduced. The issue has been well covered in the Wincanton Window and we urge readers to look at it in detail and write to urge our councilors to oppose the move.
Our understanding of the law is that parking controls can only be introduced to regulate traffic congestion and ensure sharing of parking resources. Wincanton has neither a traffic nor parking problem, (apart from occasionally near the Natwest Bank), so parking control can only be a revenue raising ploy, and is probably illegal. Wincanton Town Council are assessing the viability of a test case.
The SSDC’s parking strategy documents lists an objective of “Protect and enhance the vitality and viability of Yeovil and market towns and regional centres”. The blog fails to see how car parking charges in struggling Wincanton will help achieve this – apart from boosting Morrisons and Lidl even more.
The Conservatives pledged to fight this at the last election, less than a year ago. Lets hear the sound and the fury of their arguments.
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