PARKING charges have done nothing for Llandovery – except create a lot of hassle for local residents.

That is the blunt view of town councillors who claim Carmarthenshire county council's parking policy has been self-defeating.

Cllr Gina Jones read out a letter from a Broad Street resident who claimed parked vehicles made it impossible to leave her own car outside her front door.

"We have people parking here because they don't want to pay the parking charges," she wrote. "We have to park behind the house – and it's a long trek in the pouring rain when we have to unpack the shopping."

The resident happened that parked vehicles also obscured the view of drivers pulling out, adding: "This is an accident waiting to happen."

Cllr Jones suggested that the local authority "was not gaining anything" by imposing parking charges on Llandovery. "All they're doing is creating a problem," she said. "I still think we should point this out to the council in the strongest possible language."

Cllr Nigel Burgess jokingly suggested that, in line with the county council's community asset transfer programme, the town council could possibly take over the Castle car park – and not charge motorists any money for using it.

Cllr Dorothy Burgess said she was convinced a 'no parking charges' policy would increase the footfall in the town.

Cllr Natasha Morgan described the car park and its central location as "one of the town's greatest assets", while Cllr Peter Logsdale suggsted that a reduction in daily rates might prove some form of compromise.

Cllr Jill Blud felt free parking for 20 or 30 minutes was something that might work. "We have to remember the people who stop off in town to pick up a paper or buy a loaf or bread," she said. "Such a scheme works well in Winchester."

It was agreed to write a "strongly-worded" letter to Carmarthenshire bCounty Council chief executive Mark James.