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Tories hike up car park charges in Wiltshire

January 31, 2018 4:00 PM

Car park charges will rise by 11.8% across the county from 1 February, after a decision taken by the Conservative controlled Wiltshire Council Cabinet this week.

Additionally, the council are planning to introduce Sunday and Bank Holiday charging at most car parks and charging in the majority of Wiltshire Council car parks. They have also decided to move the free event parking on offer in November and December in some towns to other times of the year, to base season ticket prices on standard day rate charges and to harmonise residents' parking permit charges on a two-tier basis.

"These outrageous increases to car park charges threaten the vitality of communities throughout Wiltshire", said Cllr Ian Thorn, Lib Dem leader on Wiltshire Council. "As the cabinet report points out this will adversely affect those on low incomes and those who live in rural area with little public transport coverage, the increased charges are also likely to hurt our already struggling town centres."

While the Tory Cabinet has presented this decision as having been agreed by the 'majority of people and organisations … set out in a consultation last year', this consultation was rigged. Not only did it only have a very limited response rate, it only had high approval levels because people were threatened with consequences if they didn't give the right answer. Residents and organisations either had to agree with the council's proposals or were threatened with the options of either forcing their own local communities to pay for services instead of Wiltshire council or face a reduction in the equivalent funding of public transport and other highway services. Furthermore, all other funding opportunities suggested by residents in the survey have been completely ignored by Wiltshire council.

ENDS

Reference - Wiltshire Council Cabinet, 30thJanuary 2018, agenda item 6 -

http://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/documents/g11303/Public%20reports%20pack%2030th-Jan-2018%2009.30%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10