In a change of heart, Ledbury Town Council has decided that the Bye Street toilets are going to close at the end of March instead. Listening to arguments that the centrally located facilities in Church Lane are vital for shoppers and tourists, the town council voted decisively to keep them open.
The bad news is that Herefordshire Council is set to introduce parking charges in the town's car parks up to 10.00pm at night. From the end of the month, evening visitors will therefore be paying the same charges as peak time day time users.
There was uproar at the Town Council meeting on 6 March as Herefordshire Council's proposals were outlined, which I described as a stealth tax on the town centre that will do nothing to benefit Ledbury.
It remains to be seen how much extra revenue the charges will bring in, particularly with the expectation that savvy motorists will elect to park on the streets, and shun the pay and display machines - not that the charges won't still have a chilling effect on Ledbury's evening economy with pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues all hit hard.
Residents should note that, alone among the county's market towns, all car-parking revenues from Ledbury disappear out of our town to bolster the coffers of our near-bankrupt local authority.
In the short term it seems there's little can be done to reverse the decision. However, what Ledbury now needs to be working towards is to take ownership of its car-parks like the other market towns. Then we can operate sensible charging policies, and plough revenues back into town centre facilities and amenities. To do that however, Ledbury Town Council has to take responsibility for some assets and services that are currently managed by the County, a move that it has so far been reluctant to make.
Over to Ledbury: what's your view?