FATPOU parking (don’t laugh) is the latest brainwave to escape one Helston councillor.

Meaning free at the point of use, Dave Potter hopes FATPOU will be the answer to his town’s woes, with one small problem - he has no idea how it could be made to work.

I don’t wish to clamp his dreams, but both Falmouth and Penryn have been seeking car park devolution for yonks, and I can’t see how Helston will prise one of Cornwall Council’s best money-spinners from its cash-strapped grip.

Rumour has it that Falmouth might, just, wrest control of its car parks down to local level, while all Penryn has been offered is a swap of the free Permarin site for council land on Commercial Road. Roundly rejected by residents as it would push free parking out of town.

The problem is that parking is at a premium across our fair county, and especially in busy tourist (and student) towns, free spaces can quickly be snaffled by non-residents.

Falmouth may be able to make a business case of funding a car park through local businesses or the BID, based on the tourism and trading increase, but Helston companies are notably tight fisted - just look what happened to their BID attempt.

Mr Potter says a ‘crude’ method could be to fund changes through council tax, but why should residents pay to benefit businesses, or pedestrians subsidise motorists?

FATPOU is a nice idea, but needs a lot more thought.