parking - CEC car park -Civic Hall Nantwich - parking charges recommenced on 15th June 2020 (1) (1)

A bid to secure more free parking in Cheshire East towns like Nantwich in run up to Christmas has been rebuked by the ruling Labour-Independent coalition, writes Ethan Davies.

Conservative group leader Cllr Janet Clowes called on borough chiefs to relax some charges in council car parks in key market towns from December 3 until January 2021.

However, her plan was rejected by Ccabinet members, with Cllr Laura Crane questioning the public health implications and Cllr Amanda Stott seeking clarity over the financial impact on the council.

Cllr Craig Browne added: “We have to listen to our business community. We have had some information on footfall in principal towns.

“There is a 35% reduction in footfall nationally but all of our towns are doing better than that, and three have increased.”

The deputy leader claimed that Middlewich saw a 17% increase in footfall in September 2020 compared to 12 months earlier — the biggest rise of any CEC town.

However, others like Wilmslow, Knutsford and Sandbach have seen a significant reduction.

The Independent group leader, referring to Sandbach already having free parking, said “it does seem from this [data] that parking charges are not the principal determinant to our town centres’ recovery”.

But Conservative Cllr Stewart Gardiner said the move was more about a ‘projection’ that the council was encouraging residents to shop locally.

CEC allows town and parish councils to allocate four days a year for their car parks to be free, which are usually near Christmas.


  1. Lesley says:

    Financial impact..the cl8sure of businesses because of lack of shoppers is much worse and hiding behind public health issues is a joke!

  2. John Doherty says:

    Cheshire East Council do not care about Nantwich, let’s hope we remember their support when it comes to re-election. Shocking attitude and complete disregard for local independent business

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