Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council expressed deep concern over the recent implementation of increased public car park charges in Powys. Recognising the potential adverse impact on town centre businesses, residents, and tourism plans, the Town Council called on Powys County Council to reconsider this decision.

At its meeting on March 27th, 2023, Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council debated the car parking price increase. Taking into account the desperate need for support among town centre businesses, the essential role of private transportation for residents accessing town centre services, and the potential implications for tourism, the Council arrived at a unanimous decision.

Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council asked that Powys County Council would consider the views of the local representative body and review the decision accordingly, taking into account the potential risks to town centre businesses and the community’s well-being.

In response to Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council’s letter, Powys County Council acknowledged the concerns raised. However, they highlight the pressures faced in delivering and managing services amidst challenging circumstances. The decision to increase car parking charges was recommended as part of the Council’s requirement to set a balanced budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.

While acknowledging the need to raise funds to maintain and support facilities and services, Powys County Council aims to minimise council tax increases for residents and address budget pressure areas. They emphasise that car park revenue is just one aspect of their overall savings targets.

Powys County Council also points out that the availability of parking, rather than the price, plays a more significant role in influencing people’s decision to visit a town. They maintain that maintaining lower rates for longer parking durations encourages visitors to spend more time in the town, potentially increasing overall spending.

Moreover, Powys County Council acknowledges the evolving nature of high streets nationwide and the need to adapt to changing consumer behaviours and preferences. Projects such as the High Street Green Infrastructure initiative in Newtown and other Transforming Towns projects aim to support the transformation of town centres into attractive destinations for social activities.

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