Plaid attack Labour Councillors’ double standards

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards have attacked Labour Councillors on Carmarthenshire County Council for their double standards on car parking charges.

This week saw the increase of car parking charges in the county’s car parks following the Executive Board vote in favour of the increase in October 2010. Also discussed in the Executive Board meeting was the introduction of car parking charges for disabled, blue badge holders. Following significant media attention and representations against the idea, it was agreed to consult on the proposal. Carmarthenshire County Council said today that the consultation was still ongoing.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“I remember vividly a number of Labour councillors campaigning against the very introduction of car parking charges in many of the county’s small towns. Now they have allowed an increase in those charges year on year.

“I appreciate that local authorities are facing tough economic challenges, but what we are seeing from the local authority in some instances is an increase of 20 – 25% which is well above inflation.

“By the start of 2014 the price of car parking in our county will be up to 50% higher than today’s prices. This is not good for our small businesses, shoppers, or employees using the car parks when in work.

“I acknowledge that Labour members of the Executive Board declared an interest regarding the introduction of charges for blue badge holders and subsequently avoided the whole vote on car parking charges.

“I am confident that the residents of Carmarthenshire would like to know if Labour Councillors will continue to support above inflation rises year on year and whether they will vote against the introduction of fees for blue badge holders when it is discussed in full council”.

Jonathan Edwards added:

“Should the Labour-Independent Councillors decide to introduce parking charges for blue badge holders it will be another example of the ruling parties not listening to the electorate. I have not met one person in the county who is in favour of this move.

“Is it not reasonable to expect to see the authority’s Older People’s Champion and Anti-Poverty Champion leading the fight against such an unfair and unjust proposal?

“I’m sure everyone will be watching to see how their Councillor votes.

“As people return to work and to the shops following the Christmas period, they are shocked to see the staggering jump in prices and now the reality of the council’s decision is hitting home.

“Businesses are struggling to make ends meet and attract customers. A 20 to 25% increase in parking charges will do nothing to help the traders of our county.”

ENDS/DIWEDD

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