Conservatives call for free council-run parking in Newcastle
Shoppers, workers and visitors to Newcastle should get free parking over the festive period and into the New Year, according to Conservatives in the city.
In a letter to the Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council, Pat Ritchie, the Newcastle Conservative Association has called for council-run parking charges to be dropped from Wednesday, December 2, until the end of January to give a boost to local businesses under pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter also says the move could mean civil enforcement officers are redeployed to help in the fight against Covid-19 and ensure people are following the guidelines.
Olly Scargill from the Newcastle Conservative Association said the move to free parking would encourage people back into the city centre to help retail businesses currently facing hard times.
“We’ve seen other councils across the country plan similar moves, and we think it could provide a welcome boost to shoppers and businesses here in Newcastle.” he said.
“The pandemic has caused tough trading conditions for so many of our retailers and anything we can do to get people back to the shops would be most welcome. Of course, we want people to keep observing the Covid-19 guidelines to help us tackle the pandemic, but we also need to ensure some of our best-loved shops survive this incredibly difficult period and get the Newcastle economy moving again. We’ve spoken to business owners across the city and I know they would be incredibly grateful for anything that could boost their trade in the lead up to Christmas and beyond.”
Brian Smith, of Leaf Clothing, backed the call and said:
“Independents and small businesses have been the backbone and pride of Newcastle for so many years and have willing co-operated with the guidelines to ensure the safety of the city and its people. Now we really need the help of our council- and this would be a great place to start.”