Your Stourport Conservative Team is appalled to see that the Progressive Alliance-led Wyre Forest District Council (WFDC) is not only abandoning local businesses at a time of their greatest need; but is ignoring calls from residents throughout the district to re-introduce one hour free car parking.
In Stourport, the future of the high street and the town as a much-loved tourist destination is at risk now more than ever before, and immediate action to encourage visitors and shoppers is urgently needed.
The Covid-19 emergency has been devastating for local businesses throughout Wyre Forest, including Stourport; many of which depend on the tourist trade. This makes the statement made by WFDC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Planning and Capital Investment, Councillor Fran Oborski even more unacceptable. To say that “[…] Stourport has […] significant free car parking provided for users of supermarkets and other shopping developments” is a disgrace.
While your Stourport Conservative Councillors absolutely support any initiative(s) for Bewdley traders, it is not acceptable for the Progressive Alliance-led WFDC to abandon traders in the other two town centres and expect them to depend on the use of supermarket car parks.
Town and District Councillor Berenice Dawes said, “Free one hour parking was introduced by the Conservative Administration in 2011 (almost a decade ago) when a fairer approach to charges throughout Wyre Forest was rightly founded. All of the town centres urgently need customers to kick start the local economy and free one hour parking; even for a limited time would significantly help Stourport. WFDC has a clear monopoly with the car parks closest to Stourport’s tourism hub and it is these exact same car parks that now need to offer free one hour parking to help reboot the local economy.”
County and District Councillor Chris Rogers said, “Parking in supermarket car parks is not always ‘free’ or easy and many of the smaller independent traders in Stourport (some in direct competition with the supermarkets anyway) are in desperate need of assistance and the reintroduction of one hour free parking could make a dramatic difference to all of the town centres.”