The mayor of Wem has appealed to residents in the town and in the outlying villages to keep using the parking spaces available, despite parking charges increasing since the start of the year.

Councillor Connie Granger, who has been mayor of Wem since May last year, made the call after saying residents had come to her expressing doubt about whether the parking charges will benefit the town.

It is the latest blow to Wem following the departure of its High Street branch of Barclays, while another bank or building society has been found to replace them.

But Cllr Granger is adamant that the town will adapt to the charges and wants shoppers to keep giving their support to businesses in Wem to help them grow.

“We understand that people will be annoyed by the increase in the parking charges for Wem – no doubt across the whole county they are too,” said Cllr Granger.

“I, as mayor of the town, am worried that it is another blow to our town centre which comes after the closure of a high street bank in Barclays last year.

“But also, as mayor, I know this town is strong and the people who make Wem what it is will continue to do so, whether that’s the businesses who have committed their long-term future to us or to the people who need Wem for their everyday needs.

“I am appealing to you all to continue to use the facilities that we have in the town and keep showing the support you have for businesses here.

“We are very much open for business and it is only with your support in parking here that we can truly deliver on that promise.”

In Wem, the new parking charges came into effect from Monday, January in Shropshire Council car parks which are the High Street, Leek Street and Mill Street where people will pay 30p an hour and a maximum charge of £2.40 per day, with free parking on Sundays and public holidays

Shropshire Council said the parking strategy determines the way that the council manages and runs its car parks and on-street parking, including how and what it charges for parking.

The new strategy aims to make parking arrangements – both in car parks on on-street – simpler, clearer and more consistent as well as helping to reduce congestion and pollution in Shropshire’s market towns.