Bury Conservative Council Group tabled a motion on 24th November for Bury MBC to suspend parking charges on Council owned car parks each Saturday throughout the month of December. The motion was aimed to support the wonderful high streets across the borough throughout the festive period as well as the World Famous Bury Market.
Free parking on the Saturdays leading up to Christmas would have helped to boost numbers in the town centre following the pandemic and encourage residents and visitors alike to shop local.
The ruling Labour Party rejected this motion along with the Liberal Democrats. An amendment was tabled which scrapped the plans for free parking in the town centre. Instead, they will call on Council Officers and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to explore options to fund free or discounted bus travel for the first three weekends in December.
With just days before December and Small Business Saturday the Labour have stopped a policy which would have boosted trade within the town centre, supported the high street and World Famous Bury Market.
Cllr. Nick Jones, Leader of the Conservative Group said:
“The scrooge of the Labour Party in Bury came true on Wednesday. Instead of supporting a motion to support our wonderful high streets and market traders the Labour Party decided to put forward an amendment which is not within their gift.”
“The Christmas period is vital to retailers on our high streets and traders on our markets across the borough. The proposal was for all Council owned car parks to suspend parking charges throughout the festive period.
“Free parking would have encouraged residents to shop local and support our wonderful high streets, as well as our fantastic World Famous Bury Market which is in the running for market of the year. It is the season of good will. We could have ensured the residents we represent and visitors to our borough, in the year of GM Town of Culture, enjoyed a cracker of a Christmas, and supported local businesses into the bargain
“Labour and the Liberal Democrats had an opportunity to join in the festive spirit and help the fantastic businesses and market traders across our borough, especially now when they need all the support – call it an early Christmas present from the Council. Instead, they blocked the plans and will ask the combined authority to consider discounted travel on the bus only but the Councillor announcing the proposals was not sure if it was viable, more “we hope”.