Free parking on Saturday?

September 9, 2009 4:52 PM
Nigel Clarke, Linda Price, Cllr Ross Carter, Cllr Karen Chilvers, Cllr David Kendall and Cllr Barry Aspinell collecting petition signatures in the car park on Saturday 25th April 2009

Nigel Clarke, Linda Price, Cllr Ross Carter, Cllr Karen Chilvers, Cllr David Kendall and Cllr Barry Aspinell collecting petition signatures in the car park on Saturday 25th April 2009

An unofficial source has revealed that the Conservative administration has finally listened to the Liberal Democrat opposition, businesses and residents of the town and agreed to free parking on Saturdays for the remainder of 2009.

Nigel Clarke, local independent retailer and Lib Dem activist, said:

"At last, the administration has finally done something to help retailers albeit very, very late in the day."

"The Conservatives increased car parking charges and introduced Town Hall Car Parking charges back in March and the Liberal Democrats started campaigning then. Retailers felt that, during the High Street improvement works, charges needed to be reduced or held but certainly not increased.

CHARGES: Nigel Clarke is against the car parking charges increase. Picture by Martin Dalton

Nigel Clarke campaigning against the car parking charges hike

"Almost six months later, we have finally seen some action but, unfortunately, too late to help some retailers who are now in serious trouble or gone out of business altogether."

Cllr Karen Chilvers, town centre councillor (Brentwood West), said:

"Back in March, we were collecting signatures asking for the administration to help by not introducing car parking charges in the Town Hall and not increasing parking charges across the borough.

"Almost immediately, they did a U-Turn on Sunday charges in the Town Hall and have now finally, following our 700-signature petition, a 1700-signature petition organised by the Brentwood Gazette and lobbying by retailers, had to give in to pressure from us and give free parking on Saturdays during the works for the last two months or so."

We are still waiting for formal clarification and more reaction will follow then.