Plaid politicians blast inflation-busting car park charges – again

Plaid Cymru politicians Jonathan Edwards MP and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM have blasted the Labour and Independent-controlled Carmarthenshire County Council following the introduction of what they call ‘inflation-busting’ rises in car parking charges once again this year.

After meeting with business leaders and hearing first-hand how car parking charges are affecting trade, the Carmarthenshire politicians said it was time for the County Council to firstly, reconsider its disproportionate fare increases and secondly, to look at all avenues to encourage shoppers in our towns and villages instead of what seems to be the local authority actively diverting shoppers to big supermarkets which have free car parks.

Mr. Edwards and Mr. Thomas also said that the increases were a bitter pill for shoppers to swallow just weeks after the colossal salaries of the council’s chief officers were exposed and that the local authority had profited from an additional £50,000 last year due to the car parking machines not providing any change.

In a joint statement, Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn Thomas said:

“Another year and yet another inflation-busting increase to car parking charges from this Labour and Independent County Council.


“Whilst car parking charge equality was introduced on a county-wide basis many years ago, we are seeing substantial rises in fares year on year which are completely disproportionate and wholly unfair.


“Having met with business owners this week, there is a strong feeling that the Labour and Independent County Council is actively diverting shoppers away from our small businesses and into the free car parks of large supermarkets.


“We need the County Council to firstly reconsider these unjustified costs and to secondly, look at innovative ways to encourage shoppers to town centres.  If Labour is unwilling to reverse these car parking rises, then it should at the very least consider extending the free parking currently available on Sundays, to Fridays and Saturdays as well.


“This is a bitter pill for shoppers to swallow just weeks after we learned Carmarthenshire County Council made an additional £50,000 profit last year specifically from car parking machines not giving change.


“An inflation-busting increase may not be much to the local authority chief officers earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, but for business owners it can be the difference between closing a deal or closing the store.




Notes to editors:              

Carmarthenshire County Council accumulated a £50,566.89 surplus in 2010/11 from its machines that don’t give change.

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