I was asked by the Cabinet a few weeks ago to look at a way in which Lowther Gardens, which is a stand alone charitable trust, could cost the tax payers less and stand on it’s own two feet. Currently £134,000 a year is used of the Councils General Funding to support Lowther and that’s after all the income is taken into account.

I felt an immediate way was to introduce a charging scheme in the car park. This would bring in annually £10,000 to £15,000 and in conjunction with other measures in the pipe line will help reduce that cost to us all.

With the charges, the first hour is free and after 6pm it’s free. However, some people seem to think it is wrong. However, I feel the general principal that the Gardens should stand on it’s own two feet is right and I made the decision to do so.

I strongly feel that people will not be put off about going to Lowther and in time it will become accepted, especially when the result is the continuation of a Green Flag Standard park and garden.

However, I’d welcome your views on this.