Free Christmas parking for Sidmouth? No chance!

THERE is no longer any chance of free car parking in Sidmouth s district council car parks for Christmas shoppers.

THERE is no longer any chance of free car parking in Sidmouth's district council car parks for Christmas shoppers.

"It would be very difficult for us to raise the precept to pay for parking charges, it is one of the least likely things to happen," said Councillor Tom Cox, chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, at a meeting of the Business Working Party.

Chamber of Commerce chairman Derek Parry had muted the possibility of the town council taking the lead to secure free parking in the town.

He said: "Undoubtedly the Chamber could assist with funding and maybe find other sources of funding."

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He said in the past East Devon District Council had allowed free parking on Saturdays in December at all its car parks for shoppers "which our members said was very helpful."

Mr Parry said when he spoke with Councillor Peter Halse, EDDC portfolio holder, economy, last November, he had been told the district budget was "stretched" and free parking could not be contemplated.

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"Last year I tried to get free parking for Sidford car park," said Councillor Christine Drew. "I tried to twist Councillor Halse's arm, but no way."

Councillor Graham Liverton added: "Unfortunately EDDC is losing money on cark parking because of the credit crunch and will be even more stretched.

"There is no hope. I think this is a non-starter.

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