A petition to stop Wilshire Council’s plan to introduce new car parking charges in the county has received more than 1000 signatures. The plan will shoot up charges for residents with on street parking permits and introduce charges for Bank Holidays and Sundays across Wiltshire when implemented.
Julie Exton, deputy mayor of Malmesbury, started the online protest on Friday to get the plans reviewed at the Council’s meeting before deciding on the plan.
According to Julie, “Unless you’re going to pay an awful lot of money, this is going to totally affect everybody, from going to the shops, tourists, and visiting church.
“It’s not only Malmesbury where I live, it’s going to be all the towns that it’s going to affect their Sunday trade. It will affect the county as a whole.
“For any fundraising events on those days people are going to have to start paying which will make them consider whether they want to go and pay those charges.
“In Malmesbury you’re reliant on cars to get in and out of the town and most other towns have the same problem with Sunday transport with very few services running.”
Wiltshire councillor for the Liberal Democrats Gavin Grant has also filed a petition against the plan. The two petitions need 2500 signatures to attract a debate on the fate of the plan by Wiltshire council.
“Hopefully together we can get the numbers we need to get it re-looked at,” Julie added in a statement.
According to David Bowler, town councillor for Royal Wootton Bassett, “That increase is plainly unacceptable. It’s going to impact on the people that can’t afford it. Those residents feel as if it’s an additional tax on top of the council tax.”
In 2017, Wiltshire Council consulted with local authorities, many of which objected to the design.