UNDER-FIRE Tory councillors forced to defend revoking residents parking discounts.

Angry opposition councillors and the Windsor and Maidenhead public attacked the ruling Conservatives for scrapping the advantage card as well as charging a second parking permit at £50 and £70 at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Concerns were expressed by the opposition that these cuts will greatly impact businesses and the high street as residents will now pay tourists car parking prices- especially in Windsor as car parking prices are higher compared to Maidenhead.

Resident Jacob Cotterill set up a petition protesting the cuts which garnered 3,000 signatures within 24 hours and now has over 7,000.

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Councillor Amy Tisi (Liberal Democrat) said: “It’s one more broken promise.

“Residents already feel that they get little out of their council tax and the parking discount is wildly popular as demonstrated by the speed in which they signed the petition.

“The lead member claims that these changes will bring fairness to the system.

“That doesn’t make sense.

“There’s no equity where the residents parking in Maidenhead will experience an 83 per cent price increase, but if they park in Windsor, they will pay 384 per cent more.”

Protesters from UNISON, one the UK’s largest trade union, and the Windsor Labour group demonstrated their anger outside Maidenhead town hall urging councillors to save the advantage card as well as other services.

Conservative councillors argued scrapping the advantage card is part of their plan of combatting climate change where electric, battery vehicle owners will be exempt from council run pay and display car parks across the Borough as well as encouraging people to use their fuel consuming cars less.

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Opposition members dismissed this pledge as “laughable” as they claim electric vehicles are not affordable and only benefits the rich and won’t encourage residents to use their car less as bus routes are being cut back.

Tory councillor, David Cannon, lead member for parking, said all members will lose their borough wide parking discount privileges in the interest of fairness.

The leader of the council, Cllr Andrew Johnson, acknowledged difficult decisions have been made for the authority to return to long-term financial stability, but criticised the opposition for not putting forward any alternative plans.

He said: “I have heard the calls to reverse certain saving proposals, but I haven’t heard the alternative of how that gap will be filled.

“I will say to all members that there is no credible alternative that can be delivered in the short-term.”