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Wrexham Council not looking to end free parking after 11am initiative

WREXHAM Council’s leadership has ruled out scrapping its free parking offer after 11am for the time being.

The leader of the authority, Esclusham Cllr Mark Pritchard (Ind) has said bringing back paid parking after 11am in council-owned car parks is not something on the agenda despite budget pressures.

Cllr Mark Pritchard

Cllr Pritchard was speaking in his role as lead member for finance at a Customers, Performance, Resources and Governance scrutiny committee meeting, as the council moves closer to setting its budget next month.

He was asked about the current free parking offer (which excludes Tŷ Pawb) by Brymbo Cllr Gary Brown (Lab), and whether the cost of giving away free parking was outweighed by the overall economic benefits.

Cllr Pritchard responded: “It is something we do grapple with as politicians, the decision we’ve made with regards to giving free parking after 11am in Wrexham city and beyond.

“For me personally as lead member for finance, I’ve always supported the free parking after 11am as it sends out the right message to businesses who are struggling through Brexit, Covid and things are difficult.

“I think the decision at that time was the right one and we are still politically in support of giving away free parking as there is the cost of living crisis and everybody’s struggling.

“There is a trade-off and I think that’s the discussion really. Do we continue to give free parking, do we revisit it?

“At this moment in time we have no intention of revisiting it and we’ll keep on supporting the businesses in Wrexham.”

He added: “If you look at Broughton’s free parking, a lot of people go there for that reason and I do know that businesses are very pleased with what the council has done with regards to free parking and it will continue for some time to come I believe, unless there’s a political decision to open discussions again.

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“I think at this moment in time I think it’s safe to say that free parking will continue after 11am for now.”

“Some members do not support giving away free parking. That’s fine, they’re entitled to their opinion, but other members support it because of what it brings to the city centre and the support it gives to local businesses.

“In next year’s budget there’s no intention for us to take away free parking but in the future I’m sure it will continue to be a discussion for debate.”