Lib Dems call for free parking for Christmas shoppers

Would you be more likely to do your Christmas shopping using stores and services in local shopping centres like Erdington or Sutton Coldfield if you didn't have to pay for parking? Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Liberal Democrats are calling on Birmingham Council to suspend car parking charges in the run-up to Christmas this year because they think it would encourage shoppers to use their local centres and would be a helpful boost for local businesses.

At their AGM on 27 November, members voted to press the council to suspend parking charges: newly elected Chair of the local party, Mrs Ann Holtom, said: "Birmingham Council voted to suspend car parking in 2009 when the city was run by the Lib Dem/Conservative partnership. Sandwell are doing the same this year on the pre-Christmas weekends. We think it would be a great Christmas present for local shoppers as well as perhaps encouraging people from outside the area to boost the local economy as they wouldn't have to worry about paying for parking or run the risk of getting a ticket. We will be watching closely for Birmingham's response to our call and hope local residents will lobby their councillors to support it."