Councillors in Wem will allow findings on the impact of parking charges to be presented to Shropshire Council, after discussions at the town’s meeting last week.

The new parking charges have been long criticised by traders and visitors to the town since they were implanted at the start of the year, with groups in the town blaming them for poor numbers at events.

Around 40 surveys were sent to business owners in Wem, with 14 returned – which some felt was a poor return, though Councillor Chris Mellings felt it was ‘14 they didn’t have’.

Town clerk Penny O’Hagan told councillors that Wem had met with two officers from Shropshire Council, who were able to pull up data on parking numbers before the Wem Spring Market and said the findings made interesting reading.

“They were able to pull the data quite quickly which was illuminating,” said Mrs O’Hagan.

“Their data showed market days had 100 more cars than the week before the spring market. We raised the issue around the parking permits and one thing they said they could look at is instalments.

“Ellesmere and Whitchurch councils will be represented by Wem’s Cllr Mellings at a meeting over resident permits.

“We did raise about concessions for events and they said it would possibly be through another team and we also asked about a concession parking scheme.

“We might need to look at promoting it better if the Co-Op currently does it.”

It was voted that Cllr Mellings take the results of the survey to the meeting on the parking permits.

Meanwhile, councillors reacted with frustration over plans from Shropshire Council to review its policy on ‘A’ boards for traders.

Initially, it was felt that Shropshire Council will be looking to charge traders for putting ‘A’ boards on pavements as a way of improving the walk for pedestrians.

However, Cllr John Murray felt this would have had a negative impact on traders at a time when Wem’s High Street is struggling with the parking charges and closures.

But it was clarified that Shropshire Council is launching a consultation on whether the town councils will take control of an ‘A’ board policy.

Wem councillors then welcomed this consultation, meaning they will be in a position to ensure a policy of charges for ‘A’ boards can be implemented in the town.

In other items discussed on the agenda, it was decided to inform Wem Tennis Club that will need to apply for a grant for their bid to build a new pavilion through the normal channels through the Wem Sports and Social Association.

It was also decided that any donations or grants for Shropshire Safety Scene should be done through the normal grant application process.