THE VALE Council has moved to dismiss rumours of the introduction of parking charges at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.

Rumours had been circulating that the Vale Council was considering introducing a £3 parking charge to visitors to the local beauty spot in a bid to raise money.

Rob Thomas, the Director of Development Services, said the Vale Council was facing “significant budget pressures” but stressed that the matter was not being considered.

“Consideration needs to be given to all potential savings as well as ways of generating income where appropriate, however, no decisions have been made regarding any charging for car parking at Cosmeston,” he said.

“The matter has not been considered and the rumours are just that – rumours.”

Penarth Councillor Anthony Ernest, who was previously responsible for Cosmeston when he was a Vale Council cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said that a parking charge would be very unpopular among local residents and visitors, but would bring in a lot of money to the Vale Council.

“It would be a major loss if parking charges were imposed,” he said.

“There would undoubtedly be a lot of people opposed to it.

“My own view is that there would be a big backlash from people in the area.”

He added that imposing parking charges would be a “cash cow” and would raise a lot of money for the Vale Council, but it would not go down well with local residents that are often encouraged to live healthier lifestyles.

“One the one hand we are being told that we need to be healthier, exercise and get out in the fresh air, but on the other hand if they were to impose parking charges of £1, £2 or £3 it would add an extra cost to doing that.

“Parking charges have been discussed by previous administrations and it’s always been a possibility.”