I've just driven around Torbay today visiting the town centres of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. I've also been to visit all the out of town shopping centres.
Because I can see that one of the Torbay Council 2013 budget proposals is an increase in parking charges. Somewhere I noticed that Teignbridge is thinking about similar action in response to government funding grants are cut.
In the centre of the towns parking is charged. At the out of town shopping centres it is free. Do I want to nip in and grab a pasty at a local baker and pay a parking charge? Or shall I park for free and grab the pasty from a supermarket? Hmm. Not and even playing field.
Some years ago I seem to remember Mr Tony Blair and Lord Sainsbury talking about parking charges for out of town shopping centres to balance the community profile. That seems to have slipped quietly into history.
Time and time again we hear about the need to reenergise the town centres and make them visitor friendly. Endless parking meters and high car park charges for increased council revenue rather than traffic control is really like shooting yourself in the foot!
It's your community. What do you want?