First hour free parking in council car parks to help small businesses and town centres

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As local councils are becoming more and more cash strapped they are increasingly looking to car parks as an additional revenue stream. This in turn is hitting town centres and small businesses. The same small businesses that we are constantly being reminded are the backbone of the British economy. So I call on the government to introduce a law to mandate first hour free parking in all council owned and run car parks.

This will have a major benefit to local businesses and will help stimulate town centres across the country. It will have long term benefits for local councils as empty shops, currently losing revenue through loss of business rates, will become more utilised as local economies pick up. You have to look no further that Cardigan in Wales for evidence of this upturn in the local economy. When local vandals destroyed the pay machines in the car parks in Cardigan, local retailers reported an upturn in business by up to 60%, until the council replaced all the machines. For just an hour of free parking across all towns and cities, this upturn could be felt country wide, benefiting the local economy rather than the major companies that pay little or no tax.

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