Having returned to Lincolnshire after more than twenty years absence I regularly shop in Horncastle.
Horncastle is a lovely market town which, despite the recession, still retains some great shops and businesses, making it a regional centre to be proud of.
However, these small businesses must have struggled through the recession and probably still feel threatened by the continuing economic downturn. For Horncastle to survive, they need more people to shop.
Why is it then that the council adds to their distress by still applying parking changes in the Market Place and Bain car parks?
Parking charges deter people from popping into town for a few select items and instead push shoppers towards doing larger shops at the supermarkets where they get their parking fee returned.
This is wrong for two reasons: Firstly it is not in tune with the current way people are shopping, which is to be selective and compare value from a variety of premises. Secondly it actually penalises the small businesses of Horncastle which may not survive the next five years of austerity.
We should ponder the question – do we want the town to survive and prosper or do we want a ghost town like so many centres throughout the country. If the answer is yes then it is time for the council to do something positive and make short term parking free to encourage shoppers back into town.
Andrew W Truscott