Click on the link below to hear Councillor Stuart Parsons on Richmondshire's festive parking freebie (242kb)
AS shopkeepers across our region struggle to compete with the big chains and our market towns continue to face the threat of high street "cloning", one district council is set to forgo an important source of revenue in order to provide a festive boost for local businesses in the run up to Christmas.
IN a bid to increase business in the all important trading period up to Christmas, free parking will be on offer to shoppers across the Richmondshire district of the Yorkshire Dales every Saturday throughout December.
The District Council's Environment Committee voted to allow the festive freebie, suggested by Bolton Castle ward member, Councillor Wendy Morton, in a bid to give businesses a boost in the run up to Christmas.
Such towns can rightly be described as the jewels in the crown of our region, offering many independent, locally owned shops.
Councillor Parsons prepares for the festive free
"I'm very glad we are able to offer shoppers and businesses this seasonal boost", says Chairman of the Environment Committee, Councillor Stuart Parsons.
"I hope that it encourages people to shop locally in the run up to Christmas and explore the many and varied retail outlets that exist in the District."
Ticket machines in the Council's 11 pay and display car parks throughout the District will be taken out of service on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of December.
In a further gesture of seasonal goodwill to last minute shoppers, the scheme will be extended to include Christmas Eve, which this year falls on a Sunday.