Come Easter time, how many Sidmouth based businesses anticipate being able to increase their prices by fifty percent?

As you baulk at the thought, how many wish they could?

It appears the council are going to do just that with the parking charges. Nail, coffin sound familiar?

Frightened they are going to run out of cash if they don’t receive their funding from the Government, (which let’s face it is not going to happen), as with many councils, they simply look for the easiest option and apparently if you drive a car it appears you are a fair target.

We believe that the current stance is, these increases will come into force in April when those who make the decisions assume that the town will be starting to bustle with tourists whom this increase is, we assume, aimed at.

Surely the council wouldn’t turn the vice handle any tighter on its home-grown businesses, would they?

However, what many forget is when you go away on holiday or a short break, even if it’s just for a long weekend, you tend to live with excessive charges as it’s all part of the 'we went away for a long weekend' costs.

Let’s face it, as you stand there at the bar of your favorite Sidmouth hotel waiting for your drinks order, looking awfully dapper and luxuriating in the scenery you are immersed in, if you then find the drinks have increased by a few quid since the last time you stayed, the last thing you are likely to do is moan about it!

Realistically, these parking increases will hit the owners of small businesses and their staff who, day in day out, have to lay out more hard-earned cash to get to work to earn the money to pay the increased parking charges, as they try and earn back all the money they have lost over the last two years, while those who have made these decisions are reassured by the monthly transfer of their salary straight into their bank account.

We must not forget the residents who, having had the number of on-street parking spaces drastically reduced, may avoid Sidmouth altogether, forcing them not to shop locally and drive to out of town supermarkets with large free car parks.