FREE parking on Sundays across Cotswold District Council car parks could soon come to an end and charges are expected to increase next year.

Finance chiefs at the authority say they are having to consider these measures due to years of funding cuts from central government.

In its draft budget for 2023/24, the council is proposing to raise council tax by £5 a year for a Band D Property and increase car parking charges.

Conservative councillors say this will be another blow to motorists and small businesses and could have a devastating impact on the market towns of the Cotswolds.

Conservative group leader Tom Stowe (C, Campden and Vale) said: “This is yet another blow to Cotswold residents, motorists and small business inflicted by the Liberal Democrats. 

“Since coming to power they’ve used the public car parks of the Cotswolds as a cash-cow in order to plug the gaps in their budgets caused by their financial mismanagement. 

“They’ve increased parking charges, scrapped ‘free after 3pm’ and now they’re charging everyone to park on Sundays too.

“This could have a devastating impact our market towns which are so important to the wider Cotswold economy.”

Deputy Leader and finance cabinet member Mike Evemy (LD, Siddington and Cerney Rural) said yet again Cotswold Conservatives repeat the same attacks on the Liberal Democrat administration that residents rejected at the elections in May.  

“Following years of cuts to their funding by the Conservative Government, councils across the country, run by all parties and none, are having to consider difficult decisions to ensure they don’t have to declare effective bankruptcy like Birmingham, Thurrock and Slough Councils have done. 

“We’d like to hear residents’ views on our proposals in our budget consultation which is open until December 8 at www,”