This morning the Council's Parking Policy Panel was discussing how the different towns in Cornwall should be grouped for car parking purposes. We were not allowed to talk about charging at this stage, but about making sure that similar places are treated the same.
I am not a member of the panel, but went along to argue the case for Launceston being treated in a manner that reflects the problems faced by local businesses and residents.
The proposal before the panel was to treat Launceston on the same basis as St Austell - Cornwall's biggest single town. I argued against this as it would be likely to mean much higher charges than could be sustained in our town and it would mean charging until 6pm and on Sundays.
Instead, I suggested that Launceston should be treated on the same basis as places like Callington and Hayle and that we should have charges on Monday to Saturdays from 9am until 4pm only - and hour less than is currently the case.
I am very grateful to the panel for agreeing the change, and in particular to Mary May and John Coombe who proposed and seconded the Launceston case.
The most contentious issue - of charging levels and whether there should be a very cheap introductory rate - will be discussed at the next meeting on July 8th and I will again be arguing the case for cheaper rates for Launceston car parks to boost our shops.