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Slashing Christmas parking charges can help Belfast traders

Published 05/11/2015

CHRISTMAS is an especially important time of the year for the traders and shopkeepers in Belfast. After our people, the city centre is our most valuable resource as a city.

The rates raised there help to pay for essential public services, which are enjoyed by all the citizens of Belfast throughout the year. It is in the interests of all Belfast people, therefore, that anything which inhibits the amount of trade taking place in Belfast city centre be removed.

One consistent handicap that Belfast has suffered from has been the excessive cost of car parking. When compared to other town and shopping districts in Northern Ireland, Belfast is, by some way, the most expensive place to park.

Since responsibility for off-street car parking has now transferred to local government, we as a council are now in a position to do something about that.

I have suggested that, in the Christmas period, we should slash the cost of car parking in Belfast to £1 (or less) per day. In that way, we will remove an obstacle to trade and provide the city with a much-needed economic boost.

I hope all parties on Belfast City Council will support this idea and we can help to make this the most profitable festive period for our traders in years.

ALD CHRISTOPHER STALFORD (DUP)

Belfast City Council

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