By Jenni Davidson
Motorists are to get free parking in car parks in central Brighton and Hove on one Saturday and three Sundays in December.
The five car parks included in the scheme are Regency Square, London Road, Trafalgar Street and High Street, Kemp Town, in Brighton, and Norton Road in Hove.
The pre-Christmas parking concession was agreed at a meeting of the council’s Policy and Resources Urgency Sub-Committee this afternoon (Tuesday 12 November).
The meeting consisted of one representative of each of the Greens, Labour and the Conservatives.
The Conservatives put forward the proposal for free parking at a council meeting on 24 October with support from Labour.
It was opposed by the minority Green administration.
Councillor Jason Kitcat said that it was being done at the expense of poorer people who don’t have cars and that it would affect business for the bus company and taxi drivers.
He referred to the decision as “a public shame and a waste of taxpayers’ money”.
Speaking in support of the proposal, Councillor Warren Morgan said: “It’s only a few days out of 365.”
“Let’s give shoppers and motorists a break this Christmas.”
It is estimated that the council will lose about £112,000 of revenue by offering the free parking days.
The three-person committee was also due to decide whether to reduce the cost of parking in the London Road car park permanently on Sundays from December onwards.
It was unable to do so due to an error in the report presented to councillors.
Councillors were advised that they could not vote on permanent changes to prices in London Road car park because the figures in the briefing paper did not include the ongoing costs of reducing the prices after December.
In response, Councillor Ann Norman said: “I am unhappy. I do always refer to reports. It’s unfortunate that an issue like this has come with an error in the report.”
She added that she was reluctant to postpone the decision on London Road without a guarantee that they would have a chance to vote on it at a later date.
It was agreed that the issue of Sunday parking changes in London Road car park would be presented to the council’s next Policy and Resources Committee.