Renfrewshire Council have come under fire again after another local councillor has called new parking charges “appalling”.

Councillor Neill Graham has slammed the local authority for the introduction of the updated charges that came into effect earlier this month.

The Scottish Conservative councillor – who represents the Paisley Northeast and Ralston ward – says the removal of the “Free for Three” scheme by the council shows how “out-of-touch” the SNP administration is with local businesses.

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We previously reported how Paisley Southwest councillor Anne Hannigan hit out at the charges as she described them as “horrendous”.

Councillor Graham says the previous scheme was an “overwhelming success” and “greatly encouraged” people to come into the town centre to support “struggling” shops.

Only the first hour is now free, so motorists are being hit with parking prices of £4 for two hours, £5 for three hours and £6 for four hours.

Councillor Graham says the move is a “hammer blow” for businesses and has urged the council to scrap these plans and bring back the Free for Three Scheme.

He said: “The removal of the Free for Three scheme is an appalling decision by the SNP-led Renfrewshire Council.

“The scheme was overwhelmingly successful and greatly encouraged local people and visitors to come into Paisley Town Centre and support struggling shops.

“Downgrading the plan to only having the first hour free shows how out-of-touch the SNP administration are with the concerns of local businesses.

“Frankly it is a hammer blow for them and I cannot understand why this popular scheme has been cut.

“I urge the SNP administration to think again and at the very least bring back free parking in Paisley for three hours and I will be pushing them to do so.”

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I thank Cllr Graham for his sudden interest in this matter, the new parking strategy was approved at a Board last November in 2023.

"It’s been designed to ensure we can continue to provide a modernised parking service for everyone who visits Paisley and help maximise the number of people using local businesses and access town centre services and attractions.

“We engaged with business groups in Paisley and we significantly increased the number of free parking spaces across the town with all 20 car parks and on-street parking bays in Paisley offering one hour of free parking to support people visiting businesses, a near 300% increase in free parking.

"Charges only apply after the first hour is utilised, we maintained them at a very low rate thereafter recognising that people may use services that require a longer stay.

"We know one of the biggest deterrents to people visiting any town can be the lack of easily accessible spaces and modern equipment.

"There is always an opportunity for councillors to put forward their own choices and options.

"I haven’t seen any detailed alternative proposals from Cllr Graham to these proposals which would require identification of the resources to modernise and support our parking offer to visitors and shoppers and continue to support our local economy.”