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Free parking in Sittingbourne, Sheppey and Faversham on Remembrance Sunday

People wanting to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday will not have to pay to park in Swale council car parks.

The news that all council-owned car parks in the borough will be free on Sunday, November 10, was revealed at last night's Full Council meeting.

The council's multi-storey car park off St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne
The council's multi-storey car park off St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne

Cllr Benjamin Martin (Lib Dem), who represents priory ward in Faversham, asked: "In July the council asked the cabinet to consider the best way of encouraging trade and festive good will. Has the cabinet considered this and if so what action will the cabinet be taking and why?"

In his response to the question, Cllr Tim Valentine (Green), cabinet member for environment, said: "The cabinet wish to support attendance at ceremonies and services on Remembrance Sunday.

"To that end we have resolved to provide free parking in council car parks on November 10."

He added: "We acknowledge the need to support our local traders and my cabinet colleague for economy and property [Cllr Monique Bonney] is working on plans for the high streets.

"Our special projects fund is also looking to improve the public realm and facilities that will encourage further people into our towns."

Cllr Tim Valentine
Cllr Tim Valentine

Cllr Valentine also said cabinet had decided to return to the festive grants scheme for 2019 and had recently launched the application process.

It means £25,000 will be available to town and parish councils, retailer groups or resident organisations to plan and prepare Christmas events, late-night shopping or to buy Christmas lighting and decorations.

He added: "We feel that involving the retailers and community in the use of this funding will be much more effective in bringing trade to our shopping locations than token offers of free parking.

"Events can be planned when parking is already free in the evenings and where the benefits of Christmas lights and decorations can be seen."

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