Pontardawe town centre could face parking charges in bid to save £21m
PARKING charges could be on the way to Pontardawe.
Neath Port Talbot has included proposals to charge vehicles for parking in the town centre in their Forward Financial Plan.
The plan outlines how the authority will manage its finances between 2013 and 2018, and if it is approved by councillors, the proposed parking charges could then be introduced.
But Pontardawe councillors have argued the introduction of parking charges in the town would be false economy for Neath Port Talbot Council.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Councillor Linet Purcell said: "Whereas I sympathise with the challenge that Neath Port Talbot faces in trying to make £21 million savings over the next five years, I do not believe that damaging the viability of a small town's shopping centre is a wise move.
"Pontardawe has more than independent businesses which provide very valuable employment in difficult economic times.
"When weighing the hoped-for income from charges against the cost of installing meters and monitoring the car parks, plus the damage to the community it appears to me to be a false economy."
Around 3,500 residents have signed a recent petition against the introduction of parking charges in the town, which followed an earlier petition last year singed by 3,000.
In September, the town's council also voted unanimously to oppose their introduction and the county council agreed to suspend their introduction while regeneration work was under way.
Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said: "The consultation and engagement process for the Forward Financial Plan is currently ongoing. Members will make decisions in due course on the whole package of measures considered and as such it is too early to comment on the individual aspects within the plan."