Cornwall Council's Cabinet has today confirmed that parking charges in Launceston and the rest of Cornwall will be frozen for the first hour, but prices for beyond that time would rise by an average of 5%.
I took the chance to point out that the 5% figure is misleading as prices in many areas - including Launceston - will rise by far more than this - the minimum rise is 10p. I said that many shops and businesses in town are really suffering and a second rise in the space of a year would simply drive more shoppers to the out of town stores rather than local town centre businesses.
The Cabinet is in a bit of a mess over their attitude to parking. Cabinet Member Graeme Hicks (as well as the Leader) confirmed that they did not see parking charges as simply being about revenue raising. Yet when I asked them to consider freezing all charges for next year, they told me that they needed the cash. That sounds to me like their decision is all about revenue raising!
But it is good news that there will be no increase in charges for the first hour. The Parking Panel will now have 12 months to complete their indepth review and I will be pressing the case for 10p first hour charges to give a real boost to town centre shops.