Tetbury mayor criticises scrapping of ‘Free after 3pm’ scheme

The mayor of Tetbury has become the latest opponent of Cotswold District Council’s (CDC) decision to end the free car parking after 3pm scheme.

Earlier this month the council’s Liberal Democrat administration made the decision to end the scheme, in an attempt to raise an extra £350,000 in revenue and balance their budget.

Six car parks across the district will be impacted, including West Street and Church Street in Tetbury.

At the time Mike Evemy, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said the financial constraints of the council are such that they could not afford to give away parking.

READ MORE: Car park fees to rise across the Cotswolds as ‘Free after 3pm’ scheme scrapped

But the decision has been criticised by opposition Conservative councillors and business owners alike.

READ MORE: Cotswold businesses react to car park price rises

Ann Pearce, who sits on Tetbury Town council as an independent as part of the True to Tetbury initiative, has become the latest to voice her concerns.

Speaking as a resident rather than in her role as mayor, she said: “I really don’t think CDC could have done this at a worse time.

“Ending of the Free after 3pm will no doubt impact business coupled with increased hourly rates, at a time when businesses are trying to rebuild after this never ending pandemic.

“Lots of businesses took on the loans offered, and now need to pay them back.

“Increased overheads on essential lighting, heating etc. means our businesses need as much help as they can get, never has there been a more important time for residents to shop local and give traders our support as this seems to have escaped CDC’s intentions.

“Tony Walsh makes an interesting point he said: ‘Just one thought – park at the Chipping car park and the proceeds go to the Feoffees and are reinvested in our town via their charities.’”

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