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Shop local this Christmas

“We want to encourage as many residents as possible to do as their Christmas shopping in local shops on the many excellent High Streets we have all over the borough,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“Whether you walk, cycle, go by public transport or drive – get down to your local high street in the build up to Christmas and spend your money locally. Last year we spent £9million on improving High Streets in the borough, so check out what’s on offer just around the corner from you and elsewhere in the borough – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

To back up his plea for local people to shop locally, Cllr Loakes has recently announced that Christmas parking arrangements this year will be more generous than ever before. By easing the cost of parking, people who need to drive will find the borough’s High Streets even more convenient destinations.

Of course the beauty of local High Streets is that hopefully you can get to them easily without having to drive, but for those people set on picking up a 20lb turkey or a six foot Christmas tree, the car might come in handy. There will be two hours free parking in all of the Council’s Town Centre car parks during every weekend of December. Monday to Friday there will also be free parking in council car parks from 3pm onwards, rather than from 5pm.

The car parks included in the scheme are Bedford Road, E17, Brandon Road E17, Church Lane E11, Hall Lane E4, High Street E17, Linford Road E17, Mission Grove E17, Richmond Road E4, South Grove E17 and Stanley Road E10. There will also be no parking enforcement on Bank Holidays and no vehicle removals on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 12:30pm.

Motorists are also reminded that since the introduction of 15 minutes of free parking in bays, there is the opportunity for shoppers to pop out to pick up those last minute bits and pieces without having to pay for parking.

So during the rest of the year a loaf of bread, a pint of milk, some dry cleaning and the like can easily be collected without having to use a car park or get a voucher. At Christmas it might be you realise you’ve run out of wrapping paper, or forgotten the mince pies or find the cranberry sauce went off in July.

“We’re really pleased that so many residents have found the 15 minutes free parking in bays so useful and that businesses are benefiting from its introduction,” said Cllr Loakes.

“However I would encourage residents to explore their Town Centres for a longer period of time. Make use of the fact the car parks are free to use during the periods advertised and see what you might pick up on your local high street. It is your local high street after all.”

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