Free Parking On Saturdays Before Christmas – Well, Probably

The District Council has put out the following press statement on its website:

The Council has agreed to free parking in its car parks all day on the four Saturdays before Christmas.
On the 27th November and 4th, 11th and 18th December residents will be able to park free all day in the Council?s car parks.
Cllr Keith Hudson, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Transportation said, ?Christmas is fast approaching once again, but at this Christmastide our country finds itself in the grip of an unprecedented but very necessary period of austerity. Through careful budgeting, first class management by the council?s officers and the frugal use of our various income streams, we are still able to support our Residents and businesses, with what has now become our traditional free parking on the four Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. May this small gesture go some way to ensure that you and your family have a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year?.

It has indeed become traditional for the District Council to offer free parking on Saturday mornings before Christmas. (Remember parking is free on all Saturday afternoons throughout the year.)

However, the press release isn’t actually correct. The Council hasn’t yet agreed to this.

What’s happened is that Cllr Keith Hudson, the Cabinet member for parking has made a decision to have free parking. To most people’s eyes it’s a good decision. But the decision is still liable for ‘call-in’ by any three councillors in the next five working days from today. If it’s called in it goes to the next Full Council meeting for a vote by all councillors.

It’s a tad unlikely that it will be called in – the free parking traditionally has all-party support. But it’s possible for example, that 3 councillors might want to add an extra day or two. The website shouldn’t announce things as being agreed by the council when they haven’t been ….