Prospective Conservative Council Candidate for Dukes Ward, Michael Prendergast has distributed the following press release:

Following on from a suggestion at the end of May this year, Prospective Council Candidate for the Conservatives in Dukes Ward, Michael Prendergast is asking once more for Sefton Council to suspend car parking charges in Southport town centre.

‘The response to the idea of a temporary suspension has been mostly positive and we need, as a town, to do as much as possible to support our high street businesses. In the short term a temporary suspension in charges would give people more reason to visit Southport and spend their money here. Other local councils are already doing this with a similar scheme being possibly adopted by Wirral Council.’

‘We want more money to be spent in Southport to support our local traders at an incredibly difficult time for them. A temporary suspension in charges is an easy and quick way to show support for our local businesses and encourage more visitors tour town. I appreciate that any scheme would need to be carefully considered to ensure it is not abused but at the very least a suspension of weekday parking charges between 10 till 4 say should be possible.’

‘In the longer term, we need to have a full scale review of parking charges in Southport with the emphasis on dynamic pricing and ensuring parity between the different areas of Sefton. There is no reason why it should cost more to park in Southport than it does in Bootle. It is somewhat odd that a Labour run council has created an internal market within the borough where the south of the borough actively undercuts the north on parking charges with the net effect being to the detriment of Southport based retailers and businesses.’

‘Our local MP, Damien Moore has already shown his support for the idea of a temporary suspension of parking charges with Councillor Ron Watson also indicating his support. I have also started an online petition to ask Sefton Council to suspend parking charges for a period of 12 months and then commit to a review of parking charges in Southport. I would urge as many residents, visitors and local businesses to sign this as the more people who sign the clearer it is to Sefton Council that this issue needs to be addressed.’

The online petition [in] support [of] this issue can be found at:

http://chng.it/DX8QkBBHgp