Car parking in Cirencester is going up: people are unhappy. But we need to be clear where the real cause and blame lies.

It is in the ten years of austerity and the centralising hostility of our Government to all things local.

Nothing easier as Chancellor than to toss things over the wall to councils to deal with but not send the money to do the job.

This has brought us such neglects as cuts in youth services and support to young families, schools poorly maintained, libraries shut, fewer police and nurses, neglected social housing and public transport and a whole care industry on its uppers.

Now the virus has exposed the sharp inequalities in our society. For all Chancellor Sunak’s dazzling current largesse, the basic biting cuts are still in place.

So councils like CDC have to find money where they can, even if the timing is bad. Is 30 pence an hour really too much to pay to assist an imaginative local budget plan?

I think it was Bishop Harris of Oxford who wrote that “Taxation is the price we pay for a civilised society” and here for us is one small example that needs to be kept in context and for us not to shout too loudly.

Yours faithfully,

Keith Salway