Councillors claim car park charges are destroying town

Image caption Penzance councillors say the high parking charges are putting people off visiting

Councillors have claimed that pressure for car park revenue is destroying a town in west Cornwall.

Penzance councillors say the high parking charges in the town are putting people off visiting.

A proposal by the council may mean charges could soon be introduced in St Just and Pendeen to reduce parking rates in Penzance.

St Just town councillor Colin McClary said "any reduction shouldn't be at the expense of others".

Mr McClary said that the proposed 'pound a day' charge in St Just and Pendeen charge will only "encourage people to park in the already over-crowded streets".

"Locals need to park in the car park because they have no street parking, all of a sudden they are going to start getting hit with a £365 a year charge just to park in their own town."

Councillors in Penzance say the £1.7m the local car parks are expected to bring in is too high - with 9% of the parking revenue coming from 3% of the population.

They have collected around 1,500 signatures on a petition calling for them to be reduced.

Councillor Ruth Lewarne said: "I think they are just trying to milk the tourists without much concern for the locals."

She added: "The cabinet have to recognise they can't just keep taking things away and just demanding more and more money from us."

Mr Mclary said that if the council "dropped the business rates in Penzance and got a lot more shops operating, they might actually be able to generate their missing income that way."

Independent Councillor Andrew Wallis, chair of the parking advisory panel at Cornwall council, said: "This is not set in stone, this is just a proposal and this will go out to full public consultation before any final decision is made."

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