IT was fascinating to read in the Craven Herald that one of the candidates to become Mayor of York and North Yorkshire has promised to provide free parking for two hours if he gets the job (Free car parking pledge by mayoral candidate, Craven Herald online, March 21).

Anyone hopeful of being in receipt of this generous policy might wish to note the cost of it. Last year North Yorkshire Council collected £16.6 million pounds of revenue from parking charges and any income from York is on top of that.

At a time when money is tight there is no council in the country that can lightly forego a significant proportion of that amount of income. It is a policy that would inevitably lead to either higher council taxes or drastic cuts to services.

Interestingly whilst Keane Duncan, the Conservative candidate for Mayor, was making this ill thought out promise his Conservative colleagues on North Yorkshire County Council reluctantly took a hard decision. They have just decided to put up car parking charges by 20 per cent.

Clearly his own colleagues know more of the realities of local government than their candidate for Mayor. Is it safe to vote for someone who makes quite such rash promises? On May 2 you get to decide.

County Councillor Andy Brown (Green Party)