The Gazette has revealed that the county council has been profiting to the tune of £2million per year through its policy on parking charges.
I personally think that it is fantastic to be able to swell the public purse in this way and, rather than be criticised, the councillors deserve a pat on the back.
It provides funds for services that are under threat of budget cuts.
If we made parking free in Alnwick, how would we fund the traffic wardens who presently prevent inconsiderate parking, causing mayhem in the town.
One correspondent to the paper pointed out that shoppers preferred to shop on the outskirts of the town because of the free parking.
This parking is on land purchased by the businesses who trade there, the upkeep is paid for by them and the cost is recovered from shoppers in the prices paid at the till.
In the town centre, the parking is provided by the council and is paid for by those who use it.
The local traders might consider the idea of all clubbing together and purchasing the existing car parks from the council and taking on the responsibility for their maintenance,then it would be up to them if parking was free or not.
If the car parks remain the responsibility of the council and the parking charges are abolished then the upkeep becomes a further burden on the already stretched council-tax revenue, a tax paid by all residents be they car owners or not. Is that fair?