Parking should be free at the point of use in all of Helston's car parks, according to one town councillor who is now looking for ways to make his plans a reality.

Dave Potter has set up a petition to drum up support for free at point of use (FATPOU) parking, and has said he hopes it will lead to a discussion on how such a plan could be achieved.

He hopes that by making parking free or cheap in the town centre it will alleviate local parking problems as well as stimulating footfall for local businesses.

On his page, Mr Potter wrote: "Are you fed up with Cornwall Council using parking as a revenue source? Then sign up today and together we can make a difference.

"CC will want their pound of flesh and how this might be achieved is up for discussion. However, if you agree with the principle that Helston should have FATPOU parking, sign the petition and tell your friends. If there is enough interest, I will pull together a meeting to discuss how this might be achieved."

Asked how he felt such a plan could be achieved, Mr Potter said he didn't want people to be "duped" into thinking there would be no cost at all, as "nothing is free." He added that while he didn't yet know the best way to go, he disagreed with Cornwall Council "using parking as a revenue source."

He said: "The very simple, crude way would be to put the money in the [council tax] precept, other ways might be to take car parks away from Cornwall Council and give them to the town council."

Another suggestion would be to get companies in town to pay for the parking, as they would potentially benefit most from the changes, but if there was no interest from businesses it "won't go ahead," and if the trial doesn't work it would be hoped Cornwall Council would take back control of the car parks.

Mr Potter said: "What I'm looking at is a year's lead up to it, and a year's FATPOU, giving businesses in town two years to see how they might contribute."

The petition currently has 188 signatures, including Alison Quick, who wrote: "As a local living on the outskirts of the town but within reasonable walking distance, if I need to use the towns facilities I would much prefer a free car park otherwise I may as well keep driving and shop at the supermarkets where everything is free. There are some lovely shops in town that get passed by as no one can park."

Valerie Pryde, wrote: "Helston is a lovely town and deserves greater recognition than it being 'the home of Flora Day.'

"Free parking would enable visitors to wander around and browse a bit without worrying about the parking ticket expiring."

Anthony Woods added: "If we want people to come to Helston to spend money then give them something to see and do, other towns give them something so why not us? Helston is one of five coinage towns in Cornwall this is part of its history so why don't we make it easier for people to come and see and explore.

"Look at the main car park in Helston often on sunny/busy days it is sparsely filled and lucky to have a third to a half full."

The petition can be found at