Car parking charges and the charge of the two hatted-brigade(November 10, 2010)
OUR unitary councillors will soon have to decide whether to stand up for their increasingly hard-pressed community over car parking charges or back their political masters and those who pay their wages at County Hall.
"This Thursday is the latest date for another flash-point," says former councillor Paul Macdonald. (see hot topic May 25th and others).
"My local 'dual-hatted' councillor as chairman of the Wiltshire Council 'area board' meeting will have to make a choice."
"Does he back the views expressed to me that the outrageous hike in the demand to the town council to get back two hours free in our car parks and should we challenge the compromise of one hour free?"
A massive row between shopkeepers, local shop-workers, and residents was delayed when the town council which is controlled by the same councillors that serve on the Wiltshire Council compromised on 'one hour free'.
The cost of that delay was thousands of pounds.
Wiltshire Council claims that there is a lack of consistency between the former West Wiltshire District Council that was delivered into its care by its scrapping and that of other local authorities.
"I have this belief that what works in Liverpool or London, or Swindon or Salisbury, is not right for Warminster or even Mere," says Paul.
"The problem is that Wiltshire Council will go for the money grabbing 'buy back' proposal which is an affront to the predicament of poorer rural communities.
"They say that you in smaller small towns can be blackmailed to get your your free parking on your town rate if you want to compete with the big cities, their mega-stores, and their disregard for the wish of some not to have out of town superstores."