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Free car parking back up for debate

Created on 07/07/2020 @ 10:29
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

A debate on free car parking will be held at Powys County Council (PCC)’s full meeting later this month after a notice of motion was tabled by the Liberal Democrat and Green group.

The loss of on street free parking as changes are made to high streets to enable social distancing for shoppers, has led to calls for free parking in Powys run car parks. This won’t impact Welshpool.

Portfolio holder for the environment, Councillor Heulwen Hulme said that “at least half” of lost parking spaces would be replaced by spaces free for the first hour in car parks, but many businesses believe that there should be free parking to entice the shoppers back

Liberal Democrat – Green group leader, Councillor James Gibson-Watt said: “Our market town economies have been devastated by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and need all the help they can get.

“The decision to only allocate just a few one-hour free spaces in some car parks, equivalent to just half the lost on-street spaces in each town is just not adequate. We believe that the first hour of parking should be free for all those using our car parks and we hope the wider council membership will agree.”

A spokesperson for PCC said that the motion is on the agenda, and also confirmed that the PCC annual meeting will not be held until the autumn.

The council meeting on July 30 will be the first involving all 73 county councillors since the last physical meeting was held before the coronavirus lockdown on March 5.

The annual meeting, scheduled for May 14 was cancelled, and council chairman, Councillor Beverley Baynham, has continued in the role for now.

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