The Vale Show & Opposing Parking Charges

Column in the Glamorgan GEM by Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP:

It was brilliant to see so many friends and familiar faces at the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show. As always, the Vale Show is one of the highlights in the calendar locally and it didn’t disappoint!

Our agricultural sector is highly valued across the Vale, as demonstrated by the great turnout at Fonmon Castle Park for the Show each year. I want to pay tribute to all who put so much time and effort into organising this fantastic community event. It was also great to catch up with local farmers along with farming unions to discuss the needs and challenges currently facing the sector.

With regards to local issues, I am particularly concerned about the fresh threat of Car Parking Charges. I am incredibly disappointed that at a Full Meeting of the Vale Council on Monday 29 July, the Labour Party voted to reject a motion which would have scrapped proposals to introduce Car Parking Charges in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Readers will be aware that I have been a long-standing opponent of parking charges, fighting against them four years ago when the last Labour-led Council tried to introduce them. Now proposals are back on the table, it’s absolutely vital that Councillors come together in the best interest of the Vale to scrap them.

We heard strong objections to charges from Labour Councillors when they sat in opposition, it’s frustrating to see that they have backtracked now that they’re in control of the Council.

The proposed charges would be devastating to our local economy, damaging the excellent local business offer that we have in Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and across the whole of the Vale. They risk undoing all of the good work that has been done to build up the Vale as a destination. This will be a hammer blow to local traders and those who choose to shop locally supporting small shops. We always hear politicians encouraging us to support small shops, they are now making this much more difficult.

Introducing car parking charges is against the will of our community. I have campaigned along with residents and local businesses against Labour’s attempt to start charging in the past. Along with Conservative Councillors, I call on the Vale Council to do what’s right and crap the proposals.

Finally, it was brilliant to see the huge support for the second annual Barry Island 10K at the weekend. It was a fantastic day out, the atmosphere was brilliant and I’m really impressed by the enthusiasm from our community. The event provided a great boost for Barry, attracting people from far and wide and proved to be a success once again. Well done to all who took part, including our local running clubs like Seriously Mad Runners, Major Milers and Penarth & Dinas Runners. It was great to see you there!