Plaid Cymru councillors are calling for free parking in Caerphilly Borough’s town centre Pay and Display car parks to be extended into the first six months of 2021.
They say free parking was necessary to help businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. In June, the council waived parking charges until the end of 2020.
Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, who has submitted a notice of motion, said: “The pandemic has left businesses in Caerphilly county struggling for survival.
“We supported the initial move to free parking. The council needs to extend free parking for the first half of 2021 to encourage people to come back into our town centres and help traders as they try to recover from this crisis.
“Only last month the council urged residents to shop local and the deputy Labour leader accepted that businesses were starting to feel the pinch from the local lockdown and said that the local economy needed a boost.
“Well, the first few months of any year are normally the most difficult for local traders. I am contacting the Independent councillors and the ruling Labour group to ask them to support our motion. Local could literally be the difference between our local businesses having a bright future or no future at all. ”
The motion states:
We, the undersigned, request that Caerphilly CBC considers extending the free parking offer in its car parks for a further six months from 1st January 2021.
We are asking for this extension due to the following factors:
- The retail sector in general and certainly our local shops and town centres are facing a very difficult time at present.
- This is demonstrated by the downward trend in footfall in our main town centres.
- January to March is traditionally a very difficult time for the retail businesses bearing in mind the usual spending surge for Christmas. Without the traditional Christmas spend prospects are even bleaker.
- The unprecedented rise in online shopping which local shops need assistance to compete against.
- The re-imposition of parking charges will act as another disincentive for people who are considering visiting our town centres.