Over the past week, I've spent a good deal of time talking to business and shopkeepers in Launceston about Council proposals to change the car park prices. Whilst there is a little good news, the vast majority of charges will be increasing dramatically:
The charges for parking will rise by an average of 42% with the biggest rise being for people wanting to park for four hours who face a rise from £1.60 to £3.70.
In a move that will hit lots of local shop workers, the cost of a season ticket will rise from £195 a year to £600 a year. I met one cafe waitress who told me that this represents almost a full month's take home pay for a full time job. I was told by several people that they simply could not afford to stay on in work if these rises come into effect.
There is a lot of anger in the town at the attitude that Cornwall Council is taking to parking - thinking that they can put prices up and up and up. Local businesses say that they would be in great danger of closing because of the effect higher prices will have on trade.
If these parking charges do happen then parking in Launceston will be four times as much as parking in Chelsea in the richest part of London. There, annual charges range from £66 a year for the most environmentally friendly vehicles up to £154 for the most polluting. And a permit for a second vehicle costs just £55.
I've also heard from people who are incredulous that local Conservative Councillor Phil Parsons was the person who proposed these huge increases.
I hope to have more news on this later this week.