As a recently-retired shopkeeper, I feel I must respond to Councillor Ron Smith’s remarks regarding shopkeepers being part of the problem of shambolic parking on the High Street (Soap Box, December 4). Some shopkeepers do park their vehicles outside their shops for long periods, depriving themselves and their fellow shopkeepers of trade, but they are a minority. The problem lies with Scottish Borders Council. It is more than three years since Police Scotland intimated to the council that it would no longer fund the wardens, and as of yet, nothing has been done. The favoured proposal at the moment seems to be pay-and-display parking discs. This would be detrimental to trade, as any potential customer passing through, wishing to make a quick purchase, ie a newspaper or takeaway, is not going to look for a shop to buy a disc, then display, and then shop. They would just move on. The old system worked perfectly well. I realise the council must break even from the parking, but far better to contract this out to a private company and take a portion of the income generated.