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Free Parking in Torridge Car Parks Extended to 15th June to Support Business Reopening Preparations

During recent months Torridge Councillor’s took the decision to suspended parking charges in the district in response to the evolving Coronavirus crisis. The move was in part to support NHS Staff and Care workers as they carried on working and also other residents, who found themselves restricted to their homes, with more cars than usual competing for parking places. It also meant that Council staff could be redeployed to assist with the set up of systems to support the vulnerable. The charging suspension is now being extended to 15th June, to further support shop and business owners as they return to their premises to make preparations for reopening. All Car Parking permits have also been extended for the time business were forced to close.The Government recently announced that all non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be able to reopen from 15th June. However business need to meet the government’s 5 tests and follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them around 3 weeks to prepare.The extension to free parking is aligned to this new time frame for the safe reopening of high streets set out by the Government. The Councils Economic Regeneration Team are also working hard on this programme in partnership with businesses and local trade organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce and Town Councils. Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:“This will be a busy time for retail and other businesses who will no doubt be able to make good use of the free parking and make it one less thing to worry about as they make their preparations to reopen. Next week we will also be announcing further support grants for businesses and as before we will continue to do everything we can to ensure a successful resurgence of the local economy during these difficult times. It should certainly also be a time when we should shop local, as much as we can, to support the reopening’s.”