LISTEN: John Duff gives his reaction to the proposed scheme
Starting from the first weekend of December, the council will be making their car parks free every weekend for the month to help support local businesses during the festive season.
From December 5, through to December 26, Perth and Kinross council’s car parks will be free to use in the hopes it will encourage shoppers into local high streets.
Highland Ward Councillor, John Duff, said: “I am pleased that [the] council support the Scottish Conservative proposals for free festive parking at weekends from the fifth to twenty-sixth of December.
“This offer is aimed at encouraging residents to shop locally and support our local economies, which need all the help they can get just now.”
Leader of the SNP group, Grant Laing, disputes that the Scottish Conservative party can take all the credit for this this proposal.
He said: “The proposal was brought forward on a year by year basis to the council, it was agreed unanimously by councilors of all political parties.
“As usual the Tories are taking credit for popular policy’s, when the policy is not popular they won’t claim the credit.”
Mr Duff adds: “So please take advantage of this and make sure you buy all your Christmas shopping locally.”
The proposal brought forward to the council estimates that by introducing free parking over the season, the council will see a shortfall of £15,000.
They expect an update from United Kingdom and Scottish government’s ‘Loss of Income fund’ to make a ‘potential contribution’ towards this shortfall.
Mr Laing also took the chance to remind people to support local artisans who sell their craft goods online.
‘We should not just look to shop local’, says Mr Laing, ‘we should look to buy Christmas gifts from crafters across the area.’
He added: “They sell not just in the high street, but on platforms such as estys too.”
Being environmentally friendly is also a priority for the Councillor who says that people should try use public transport, when they can, whilst out shopping.
With an environmentally conscious message, he said: “The SNP group encourages as many people as possible to use public transport, where they can, midst the climate emergency facing us.”
Speaking in the council’s Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Mr Duff commented: “This Christmas especially, I think, we need to encourage people to get out and use our local retail shops in order to support the Perth and Kinross economy and local jobs.
“The offer of free festive parking will, I think, help deliver these aims and I welcome these proposals on behalf of traders in Pitlochry in particular.”