Monmouthshire County Council is to consider a proposal to repeat last year’s successful free parking initiative in the run-up to Christmas. In 2010, free parking was introduced in the county’s main shopping towns on three days prior to Christmas. The initiative gave a welcome boost to local shops and helped remind people of the county’s fantastic range of independent retailers.
Cllr Bryan Jones, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for County Operations, said:
“Free Parking was such a success last year that we need to consider repeating it. It did cost the council around £17,000 in lost revenue. But, of course, our towns benefited enormously from increased custom in shops and restaurants. And it reminded people what a brilliant range of shops we have in our towns.”
The proposal for this year is to discuss which days free parking could be made available with the relevant chambers of commerce.
David Cummings , Chairman of Monmouth and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce commented:
“We very much welcome the proposal by the county council to have a number of free parking days in the run up to Christmas 2011 in the towns of the county where there is a charge for parking. There was a very positive response from retailers to the three free parking Saturdays in the run up to last Christmas. We understand that the Chambers of Commerce of the county would be consulted on which days the free parking should occur and we would liaise with our members on this issue. Last year the decision on free parking was made a little late for the retailers to take full benefit, so we’re glad there would be an opportunity this year to discuss how it could be best implemented and ensure that it’s publicised in good time for Christmas. We must also think carefully about the timing of the free days. We hope that the free parking in all our towns this year will encourage more people to shop local , which will benefit the whole Monmouthshire economy.“
Paula McCabe from the Abergavenny Chamber of Trade added:
“On behalf of Abergavenny Chamber of Trade we welcome any initiative that will benefit retailers to assist in an economic uplift for all towns in Monmouthshire, particularly as car parking charges have had a serious effect on all businesses in Abergavenny. A positive and proactive proposal from our Monmouthshire councillors regarding free parking days is to be both welcomed and applauded.”
The decision on whether to repeat free parking this Christmas will be made by the Cabinet member for County Operations, Cllr Bryan Jones. This will be as an Individual Member Decision and is scheduled to take place on 14th September.