On Monday, I asked the Minister for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Percy MP, what help and support the Government will be giving to Local Government – and local businesses in turn – to compete against large out of town retailers who are able to provide free car parking.
Local Government budgets have been cut dramatically by the UK Government as well as the budgets to the Welsh Assembly – who fund Local Government in Wales. This has seen budgets in county councils being stretched so free parking is no longer something that can be provided. This has allowed out-of-town retailers, who own large plots of land and car parks to give free parking. This undermines the competitive edge that in-town businesses used to have.
The Minister didn’t provide a response. Instead he chose to talk about an isolated example in North Lincolnshire. Therefore we can only be led to believe that the Government has no plans to help small and medium size retailers in North Wales.
I will continue to pressure the Government to support our small businesses, who are the backbone of our economy.