FREE parking spaces that Wiltshire Council councillors and staff enjoy should be extended to residents too, says a Trowbridge businessman.

Cllr Edward Kirk says it is completely unfair that only council workers, and not the public, are treated to free parking at the authority’s car parks. These include the ones outside County Hall, and at Lovemead, Court Street, Broad Street, Broad Street Crescent and Bradford Road in Trowbridge.

With Wiltshire Council proposing to nearly double season ticket prices and to introduce parking charges on Sundays and bank holidays, the owner of Scholars has said that these free parking privileges should be scrapped or everyone should get free parking.

“Either everyone should have it for free or nobody should. With these latest car parking proposals, I feel this needs to be said but it needs to be fair,” he said.

“I would suggest that if the people of Trowbridge are not extended the same rights as council staff, then Wiltshire Council is operating a discriminatory practice in relation to car parking.

“As a Wiltshire councillor, I will happily give up the parking privilege I get because this is about equality.

“I have talked about promoting free parking at the weekend for residents, as Wiltshire Council doesn’t really, because it is an important issue. The decision to up prices makes no financial sense.”

Councillors are only allowed to use their parking permit in any off-street car park across the county when on council business. Staff are given a parking permit which can only be used in specified parking areas while on council business. Council-only car parks are free to the public at weekends.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Our parking charges do ensure we can continue to provide a range of services

“We are currently reviewing the parking situation for staff and are assessing the feasible options available to us.”