Ceredigion County Council’s Let’s Foul-up Aberystwyth Committee continues on its wrecking way.
Demonstrating indifference to multiple warnings that its proposal to make people pay to park on the seafront would threaten the survival of promenade cafés and town centre shops already struggling to survive, it now rubs salt in the wound with its admission that buying ticket-machines and signs and painting parking bays would cost a not inconsiderable £150,000. Oh, yes, plus an undisclosed sum to take on extra traffic-wardens – let’s say another £60,000 to £100,000.
This council needs to be very careful. Ceredigion ratepayers as a whole are already fuming over an authority which repeatedly squeezes them financially while not hesitating to increase councillors’ pay, and tipping stratospheric salaries into the pockets of senior officials.
Aberystwyth has particular reason to feel aggrieved. While overall council tax rose this year by 7.4 per cent – the second highest in mid and west Wales – the town has borne the brunt of the hike, ratepayers there in receipt of bills of around £2,000, higher than anywhere else in the county.
People there will not tolerate a further financial raid in the form of parking charges on parts of the promenade where parking has always been free.
This seafront has always been central to the outdoor lives of people living in Aberystwyth and the surrounding area.
This is where generations have always walked, have always chatted to each other, have sat and watched spectacular seas and skies, have socialised at outdoor cafés.
This is their place, their seafront, and they will not capitulate to any attempt by the council to impose parking charges or petty time restrictions. It’s as simple as that.