AMMANFORD town councillors Colin Evans and Irena Hopkins have again clashed over the continuing controversy over parking charges.

Cllr Evans – who is also a member of Carmarthenshire County Council – said the decision to impose the charges was made by the local authority’s “Independent-controlled administration” four years previously.

“The charges are going up on an annual basis and that escalator ends on January 1 next year,” he said, adding that fees were fixed according to the social economic impact on each town.

But Cllr Hopkins argued that charges should not be imposed in smaller towns. “They are killing the town,” she said. “Why do only four per cent of Ammanford people use the town? That’s why shops are closing.”

Cllr Evans maintained the number of cars parked in Ammanford was actually increasing. “If these motorists are not spending their money in the town, the question has to be asked – why?” he said.

“It costs £1 for four hours’ parking in Ammanford – far cheaper than in other towns.”

Mayor Jonathan Jennings insisted more shops were closing and the number of shoppers falling and suggested a period of free parking.

“Traders trying to bring footfall back into the town are being put out of business by these charges,” he added.