IT is a sensible decision by Darlington Borough Council to withdraw the two-hour free car parking in the town centre because no provision was made for it in the council’s budget which was approved earlier this year.

To continue it would have meant that funding would have had to have been diverted from essential services such as social care which protects and supports the vulnerable or repairing the pot holes in the roads of which there are so many.

Of course we all want to see a prosperous Darlington town centre but the reaction from the town’s MP, the opposition on the council and your newspaper was rather surprising and disproportionate, rushing to put out a petition opposing the withdrawal and forecasting the demise of the town centre but not saying how the gap in funding will be filled.

Good heavens. £1 per hour to park a car in the town centre isn’t going to break the bank and hopefully it will be the case to paraphrase Mark Twain “the news of the death of the town centre may well prove to be greatly exaggerated”.

Alan Macnab, Darlington