ANGRY residents in Shipston say they have been patronised and "treated like idiots" in a decision to hike up parking charges.

People living in Telegraph Street said their pleas against the increase of parking permit charges by more than 200 per cent were ignored by Stratford District Council at Monday's Cabinet meeting.

Members unanimously decided to increase the price of an annual permit from £25 to £35 and subsequent permits to £175 - an increase from £50 to £210 for two - following a consultation.

Julia Aldridge, who has lived in Telegraph Street for 30 years, said they were angry at the decision.

"We feel we're being taken for a ride," she said. "It's not a case of them and us, it's just a very unreasonable amount. It's not a teaming metropolis we live in, the car park is never full.

"I think that's too much to go up for the next permit. We are not happy at all."

Fellow long-serving resident Tim Ross-Bain, who spoke against the plans at the meeting, said he was dismayed.

"They just totally ignored everything we said," he said. "They almost made us feel we were an inconvenience to be there.

"I got the feeling the decision was already made before we got there. I don't know why they're not listening to us, they're treating us like idiots. They were incredibly patronising and rude.

"We will probably be fighting this and taking it further."

In 2002, a decision was made by the council to issue parking permits to some Telegraph Street residents so they could park in the adjacent council-owned car park as they did not have their own off-street parking due to double yellow lines on the road.

Since then residents have been able to buy an annual permit at £25 each and 18 permits have been issued in total.

But following a review last October, where the district council consulted on proposals relating to the number of annual permits available to Telegraph Street residents, it was decided the rules needed to be tightened up.

Shipston district councillor Jeff Kenner said: "They have gone ahead with the totally extortionate 200 per cent increase and they haven't listened to the residents' arguments.

"I've requested to call it in immediately . The whole decision needs to be reviewed and I'm seeking further information on the legality of the decision."

Councillor Chris Saint, leader of Stratford District Council. said: "We conducted the meeting in a civil manner.

"I can understand people are saying it's a sharp increase but the review was very much overdue. These are people that didn't have their own parking arrangements and we affectively treated them beneficially because they couldn't be included in the county council's on-street parking scheme.

"They were given concessions to use a pay and display car park, this is a very unique situation. They are still getting a facility that other people are having to pay for and they are still getting it slightly subsidised."