Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Parking changes 'could take year'

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A blanket increase of 5% could be in place by April

Plans to harmonise parking charges at council-owned sites across Cornwall may not be fully decided on and implemented for a year, Cornwall Council says.

The council is dealing with varying charges inherited from the former district council areas taken over by the unitary authority in April.

Councillors said they wanted to ensure new policies were "absolutely right".

In the meantime, a blanket increase of 5% has been proposed and a consultation programme into that is under way.

A special panel of councillors has been set up to find ways of unifying parking policy across the county.

Andrew Wallis, chairman of the council's parking policy advisory panel, said his panel has been given a year to work on the harmonisation.

He said: "We need to work at it and it's probably going to take a good year until we get these policies absolutely right."

He said the panel hoped to make parking "as cheap as possible, but as fair as possible".

The blanket increase of 5% is undergoing a public consultation.

Responses to that will be considered by the panel and presented to the council's cabinet for decision in February 2010.

If approved, the 5% increase would come into effect in April 2010.

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