Passionate calls from Llanfyllin councillor Peter Lewis to let individual towns decide on parking policies fell on deaf ears at a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday.
A new draft parking policy was approved by Cabinet with no objections.
Councillor Lewis urged Liam Fitzpatrick, the portfolio holder for Highways, not to take the “easy option” of a standardised approach to parking in the county.
“Although I speak on behalf of Llanfyllin I believe many other communities support the need for a local approach.
“All the towns in Powys are different and they’re having to change to survive, especially in the last 10 years.
“Councillor Liam, have you asked businesses what they want, here at the coalface? Or do you just want to take the easy approach and standardise every town in Powys?”
The new policy specifically targets short term town centre parking, making maximum stays of between 30 minutes and one hour mandatory in all towns across Powys, while in Llanfyllin the town council wished to increase its on street parking to two hours in an effort to increase footfall in the town, a move which will not now be possible.
“Llanfyllin is not Welshpool with superstores like Tesco, Lidl, or B&M where you can park right next to the door for two hours free of charge.”
But Cllr Fitzpatrick responded by saying that a consistent approach was “good governance” and that revenue generated from parking was necessary to support essential services in the county.
“Good governance is based on two principles, one of consistency and one of equitability throughout the entire regions which governance takes place,” he said.
“This policy is determined to do that, to have one consistent and equitable policy throughout the county of Powys.
“I am determined with a county the size of Powys to keep as many public service buses on the road as we can.
“Other councils particularly in England have taken the easy option and closed libraries and cut public service buses but I believe strongly, extremely strongly, that a county like Powys needs its public service buses and a large majority of our income from parking goes towards supporting those bus services.”