I WONDER whether any of the members of Evesham Town Council have read the stories appearing recently in many national newspapers about the town of Cardigan in North Wales, where thieves vandalised all of the parking meters, with the unexpected benefit to local traders of business levels increasing by between 20 and 50 per cent?

If they have, then maybe they might begin to understand why Evesham town centre is dying on its feet.

They might also care to look at the parking policies of towns nearer than North Wales, including Stratford-upon-Avon and many in the Cotswolds, where parking is free in the town centres, for an initial period at least.

Then they might realise that their recently announced "one hour free (when you've already paid for two hours parking)" is nothing more than a gigantic con, which members of the public will understand quicker than they think.

In my business career, spanning more than 35 years selling in markets as far afield as the USA and Canada, as well as most of Europe, I have always found that if you make yourself easy to do business with, then customers will choose you and your products over those of competitors.

In this case, making it difficult for shoppers to park in Evesham, i.e. charging them as soon as they arrive in town, can only have one inevitable consequence.

Evesham has a fantastic setting by the river Avon, and a vast history, but if we discourage visitors by means of our car parking charges they will look elsewhere.

I expect that the standard answer that "we need to revenue from parking to counteract savage government cuts" will be trotted out by our councillors as soon as they read this letter.

Perhaps if they spent less of our money on "vanity" projects such as the new Waitrose store, they wouldn't need to make up the shortfall.

Richard Sims