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Wiltshire's money-grabbing cabinet told to rethink parking

(December 20, 2010)

Wiltshire Council political leaders are being told to think again as a backbench car parking rebellion gathers pace after a public outcry.

A meeting of its cabinet on Tuesday agreed to introduce the unpopular 'harmonisation' of charging motorists by banding various towns together.

Warminster Town Council put up a spirited fight to keep its free parking scheme which had in the past been bought at a significant cost to their budget.

They sent their Town Development committee chairman Cllr. Tony Nicklin to a face to face meeting along with sending a strongly worded letter of objection.

They gave up the fight after the unitary authority which inherited the car parks from the former district council demanded a massive increase in the subsidy.

This decision has now been 'called in' and will be considered by the council's Environment Select Committee this Tuesday morning.

"I am glad that ordinary members of the council have found a way to have their say," says former town councillor Paul Macdonald who alerted the town to the .

"I am a keen supporter of the committee system with their decisions being ratified by full council and not a Westminster style clan of elite members.

"I think that the work of the town council and public pressure on this may just have forced them to think again and I stand full-square behind the town council efforts on this.

"£5.60 each day means that an ordinary shop employee will have to toil for more than hour to pay the greedy Wiltshire Council."

A call-in can be used by councillors where they consider they have evidence to suggest the Cabinet did not take a decision which meets the council's approved principles of decision making.

The Select Committee can then agree to send the matter back to Cabinet for reconsideration and the cabinet members have been told to be on stand-by for an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

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