Cirencester residents up in arms over car parking charges
WAVING placards, riled Cirencester residents bombarded Cotswold District Council over the town's high parking charges.
Eleven questions were put to the council meeting – despite the authority's recent pledge to reduce parking costs with an all-day tariff at Cirencester Beeches car park, extending a 50p short stay charge to all its sites and a new £288 annual five-hour parking permit.
Residents also slammed the 24/7 charges at the Brewery.
James Bell said: "Residents from Cirencester and the surrounding area are tired of the town being used as a cash cow for the rest of Cotswold district. If the parking charges are reasonable, people will use the car parks to their maximum potential and not cause congestion in the town's streets."
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They demanded to know what the income and surplus was being spent on.
Their cause was backed by CDC opposition Liberal Democrats, who claimed it already used its off-street parking charges as a "stealth tax".
Cabinet environment member David Fowles said: "Yes we generate a surplus from our car parks and I'm proud of the income we make.
"We should use the surplus not as a stealth tax but on improving the vitality and viability of our market towns. It's all used to provide essential services."