Councillor fears Horncastle may miss out on free parking

All pay:  People  line up to pay at the St Lawrence Street car park where town councillors would liked to see charges scrapped for major events.
All pay: People line up to pay at the St Lawrence Street car park where town councillors would liked to see charges scrapped for major events.
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Councillors in Horncastle have been urged to step up their efforts to secure free parking at major events in the town.

The plea has come from town councillor Angela Birchall who is concerned Horncastle could miss out any free parking concessions .

East Lindsey District Council has previously rejected numerous requests to suspend parking charges for the town’s summer and Christmas markets.

Members of Horncastle’s festival committee - backed by town councillors - argue scrapping charges would attract many more visitors.

Coun Adam Grist - ELDC’s portfolio holder for market towns - recently told town councillors changes to parking arrangements could be included as part of a comprehensive review into car parking across the entire district.

Coun Grist said he favoured scrapping the current ‘one size fits all’ policy and suggested individual towns like Horncastle could be given more responsibility for parking operations.

He also confirmed ELDC would consider a request from the town council for free parking at events.

However, he warned ELDC could not afford to lose income from parking charges which, he said, helped pay for frontline services.

ELDC does allow free parking in Horncastle but only on one Saturday in December to help promote small local businesses.

However, town councillors claim the day receives limited support and free parking would be much more beneficial at the two markets.

Coun Birchall says it is vital pressure is kept on ELDC to ensure the changes happen.

Speaking at a town council meeting, Coun Birchall said: “At our last meeting, Coun Grist said he hoped we might be able to have free parking for our two markets - instead of small business Saturday.

“This (free parking) would be a big help and I’m sure would bring in more visitors. At what point do we start to push this?

“We don’t want to be getting to September and October to ask for something.

“We need to get a move on or it will be too late. We don’t want to waste another year.”

Mayor Coun Bill Aron suggested the town’s district councillors should take up the matter with ELDC - and that Coun Grist attend a town council meeting in April .