BROMSGROVE’S cabinet will be looking into the possibility of trialing free evening parking in the town after a motion was passed at the full council meeting on Wednesday (November 19).
It was put forward by Coun Rod Laight who suggested funds saved by the ongoing budget process be used to cover the cost.
“It is envisaged that, if it is successful, it could become a permanent fixture.” he added.
The Labour Group questioned why the motion was being brought up six months before an election and pointed out it had put forward the idea of free parking in the evenings and on Sundays on several occasions, but it had been thrown out.
Welcoming the motion, Labour leader Coun Luke Mallett said: “Over the past few years they have consistently refused calls to do just this and cut the ludicrous evening parking charges they themselves introduced in the first place.
“I hate to think of the damage done to evening traders by the years of blocking and delay.”
He added he felt the move should have included Sunday parking and an amendment to the motion put forward by his Labour colleague, Coun Rory Shannon, was defeated.
“It is disappointing the Conservative group again refused to also consider weekend parking, and vouchers that linked parking to High Street shopping.” he added.
The original motion went through unanimously and a report will now be compiled and is expected to go before cabinet on December 4.
“The key thing now is whether the Cabinet will follow through on the unanimous council decision and Labour will be keeping the pressure on to make sure this is delivered and then retained.” added Coun Mallett.
A Conservative spokesperson told The Standard afterwards: “The proposal to have free evening car parking in the town centre was part of the original consultation on the redevelopment, once the regeneration was fully underway.
“It’s a vital part of our plan to boost the night-time economy.
“It’s nice to see Labour jumping on the bandwagon so close to an election, nonetheless, it was a Conservative council that proposed free evening parking, and it is a Conservative council that is implementing it.”