THE car park in Lower Solva will continue to be managed locally this year.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority members met on February 4 to discuss the future management of the facility, as part of its car park arrangements for 2015.

For the past two years, Solva Community Council has managed Lower Solva car park. It employs two attendants who sell tickets, collect and bank the money, maintain the picnic site and keep the area clean and tidy.

The financial arrangement sees a 50:50 split on surplus income. In 2014, this resulted in £25,000 for each organisation. The community council used its share to fund a number of local projects, including the Memorial Hall, a children’s playground and the football club.

National Park members discussed several possible options for the car park’s future management, including retaining the present arrangements with the community council, which would result in a loss of approximately £25,000 a year.

The one, which was most opposed by local community, was to introduce pay and display machines, which would reduce costs and maximise the National Park’s net income by an estimated £40,000 a year.

In an email to the National Park's chief executive, Tegryn Jones, the secretary of the Solva Boat Owners Association, Dave Taylor said: “Ticket machines are so impersonal and do not reflect the welcome that Solva and Pembrokeshire always offers its visitors.”

After negotiations, the National Park has allowed the community council run the car park during 2015.

A National Park Authority spokesman said: “It was resolved that Solva Community Council would manage the Lower Solva car park for 2015 subject to the revision of the terms of the management agreement. Members asked for a report on progress to be provided to an extraordinary meeting of the National Park Authority in early March.”