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Parking charges - An April fool?

(April 02, 2011)
It was a 'fool's errand' on April Fool's Day as a local resident went in search of twenty pence pieces to pay for the parking spot near his favourite local shops in Warminster.
"I parked up and suddenly remembered that this was the first day I needed to pay for the privilege of supporting my home town with my custom," says Paul Macdonald.
"I did not have any change so I hurried to buy the 20p 'I' newspaper and the wobbly J and then back to the payment machine. I had been on a fool's errand.
"Two presses of a button and I could still park for free. The local councils certainly caught me out with their April Fool's joke!"
Shortly after being created, Tory Wiltshire Council demanded a widely regarded 'extortionate' increase in the former WWDC levy to allow the town council to have free parking in the commercially vulnerable market town.
They ignored the call from the Con-Dem coalition government for more 'localism' in their decision making and went for the nationally regarded 'cash-cow' of the motorist to fund their budget plans.
The town council were suddenly rejuvenated a year ago kayw this month by a massive public petition led by local shopkeeper Kay Langley of Town Pets  pictured right (see hot topics in April 2010).
The town failed to barter a good deal despite Mayor Tony Nicklin publicly stating the town had been 'kicked hard' and he was not going to taking it 'lying down'.
At the town council he sat alongside a WC cabinet member (Keith Humphries), an area board chairman  (Andrew Davis) and vice-chairwoman (Pip Ridout), but they all failed.
"I am happy to support the latest face-saving scheme of 40p free hour parking scheme for a refund from a handful of local businesses on a 'suck it and see' basis," adds former councillor Paul Macdonald.
"It would not have helped me as yesterday I wanted to support a local car insurance business and visit the library who are strangely not part of the scheme.
"And it still means that to have a leisurely hour-and-a-half possibly spending just four or five pounds on a daily basis as I did at Tony Pryce Sports will cost me a pound!"
"I have also added this issue to the list of failures that I will make the Andrew Murrison, our Tory MP, aware of as a member of the governing national alliance."

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