Keighley and Ilkley MP, Robbie Moore, has urged Bradford Council to delay reintroducing parking charges in Ilkley until at least July to give businesses who reopened on 15 June an extra boost.
Following lockdown measures introduced by the Government in March, parking around Keighley and Ilkley had been free of charge, enabling the council to focus on dealing with the challenges posed by Coronavirus. As the Government gradually eased lockdown restrictions, with non-essential shops reopening on 15 March, the council has decided to re-introduce parking charges across the district. In a letter to Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe and Chief Executive Kersten England, Mr Moore urges the council to postponing the re-introduction of parking charges which he said would give local businesses a boost so many of them need having suffered great financial loss over the last two and a half months.
Mr Moore said: “Many businesses have had it tough since lockdown measures were introduced. The Government introduced a grant scheme which the overwhelming majority of businesses were able to receive, as well as paying the wages of staff. However there may be dark times ahead for many of our small independent shops. Enabling people to park in our town centres free of charge will help bring consumers into the town centres, giving those businesses the boost they need.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our society. Many have sacrificed so much during these last few months, with many selflessly helping to support the most vulnerable in our society, as well as helping our brave key workers. Now that shops are allowed to re-open, it is only right that they can get something back. That is why I am calling for the temporary suspension of parking charges to continue until at least July. I hope the council will support this move.”