The Labour Council have sent out a press release triumphantly announcing their “Christmas Parking Bonus” – there will be free parking in Council-owned car parks in the run up to Christmas.
It would be churlish not to welcome this move, which is a welcome relief for hard-press shoppers and for local businesses. However, in Monton Village, local residents, businesses and shoppers will doubtless see through this festive “gift”. Until recently, of course, parking was free in Monton, sustaining independent local shops in the village. Despite opposition from residents and traders – supported by local Conservatives – Labour introduced parking charges in Monton.
Three free Saturdays before Christmas, therefore, is a bit like being mugged for a twenty note and being expected to feel grateful when the robber gives you back a couple of quid for the bus far home.