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Lib Dems condemn short-sighted approach to Wiltshire car parking

December 15, 2010 12:00 AM

Liberal Democrats in Wiltshire have condemned plans forced through by the ruling Conservative group at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting in Trowbridge that removes free parking from almost every council owned car park in the county.

The plans to bring in a one-size-fits-all set of charging bands across the county mean that some residents will see the existing free parking cut, while others will see their charges double.

The meeting was attended by scores of residents from across the county who pleaded for the council to review its proposals, but the Conservative Cabinet voted them through anyhow.

Speaking at the meeting Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Jon Hubbard commented, "This is a bodged policy that is being rushed through without proper consultation or scrutiny. Back bench members of the council have had no opportunity to examine or properly comment on this proposal; it is being forced through without following the usual consultative procedures within the authority.

"We are seeing today policy being made on the hoof. The Council Leader talks about this being democracy in action, but it is not. It is too little too late. Instead this should have been properly discussed in the appropriate Select Committee, open to the public, with all councillors able to contribute.

"The council talks about adopting a strategic approach to this, but I say that this policy is a strategic plan to shut down Wiltshire's market towns. This short sighted approach, designed only to maximise revenue input to pay off the council's excessive spending will result in more shops closing, more jobs being lost and more town centres becoming ghost towns."

Following the meeting the Liberal Democrat group have formally called for the decision to be 'called in'. This means that the implementation of the proposals should be delayed to allow the council's Environment Select Committee to scrutinise the plans.