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The Laz Word... on free parking for shoppers

Well about 60 shoppers actually, says Larry Neild

Published on December 2nd 2013.

The Laz Word... on free parking for shoppers

IN a humbug-like gesture to Christmas shoppers, Liverpool City Council is offering free parking this Saturday. 

Hang on, if it is something for nothing how does old Scrooge come into the equation? 

I bet Matta's, News from Nowhere and the
Oxfam shop are beside themselves with
excitement with promises of such a boost to sales

The good-news spinagramme proclaims: “Parking charges are to be waived by the Mayor of Liverpool on a Saturday leading up to Christmas as part of a national initiative to encourage consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities.” 

Fantastic, until you realise the free parking applies only to a fraction of city centre spaces. Namely, the the top of Bold Street, Renshaw Street and Newington. Within that little triangle there must be on-street parking for around 50-60 cars – more if all the vehicles are those half-sized Smart cars. 

Normal pay and display charges will remain in the hundreds of other on-street parking bays around the city centre. 

Presumably to make sure shop workers don’t grab the freebie places, the offer only kicks in after10am. 

This kind of token gesturing is a reminder of the pathetic Liverpool response (during Lib Dem rule days) to European Car Free Day when the top half of Bold Street was closed to traffic, matching the already-car-free bottom half. 

The Dec 7 freebie is part of Small Business Saturday – yet another import from the US that has already given us Mischief Night - the aim being that small businesses can promote themselves and generate trade. 

Costing the council no more than a few hundred quid in lost income, it follows a series of meetings involving the Mayor’s office, and the Forum of Private Businesses.  In Liverpool, the initiative is being led by Mayor’s office and the city council who have joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, and City Central BID. 

Cllr Nick Small, cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, said: “In the US, where Small Business Saturday is an established commercial holiday, it generated $5.5 billion in sales in 2012." 

I bet Matta's, News from Nowhere and the Oxfam shop are beside themselves with excitement with promises of such a boost to sales. 

This is a day to encourage people to visit the shops on their high streets and a day when we will celebrate small business, because they are often found at the heart of communities and they generate wealth and create jobs. This is just one day, but we rely on them every day and their importance to the economy cannot and should not be underestimated," said Cllr Small. 

The sentiment is sound, but wouldn’t it have been better to offer free parking across the whole city centre over the whole weekend, or charge a token £1 to park for as long as you want? There may be a lot of disappointed motorists come Saturday.

Small Business Saturday coincides with FSB’s Keep Trade Local campaign to raise awareness of the plight of local shops and to breathe life back into village, towns and cities. 

Brimming with excitement and enthusiasm Elaine Moore, FSB regional chairman, said Liverpool City Council’s decision to offer free parking on the day, and its policy of paying supplier invoices within 30-days, are fantastic initiatives and very welcome. 

Ms Moore, to be fair, made the all important point: “Small businesses are at the heart of Liverpool City Region’s economy and its communities, but are facing huge challenges at present. 

Falling in the crucial pre-Christmas period, Small Business Saturday is a timely reminder for shoppers to go out and spend their money in local independent retailers. We are also launching our Keep Trade Local campaign in Liverpool - our message to consumers as far as small shops are concerned is simply ‘use them or lose them.’” 

Further support for the initiative came from City Central BID whose chairman, Ian Ward, said: “We work with more than 600 businesses in the city centre and initiatives like this are important if we are to ensure that Liverpool continues to thrive as a retail and leisure destination.” 

Meanwhile, the uphill struggle remains for small businesses in the city centre's Outer Zone who continue to be short-changed by parking policies.

Several years ago, as revealed on Liverpool Confidential,  charges in the important Hope Street area rose from £1.40 an hour to £2.20, the excuse from the council being it nedded to regulate charges across the city centre. 

But last year, when Mayor Anderson cut parking charges in the city centre to £2 an hour, the hike up on Hope Street stayed, and remains to this day. 

If we are going to pinch ideas from the US, then we have to be like them and think big.

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52 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Nuff SaidDecember 2nd 2013.

"Small Potatoes. What a complete and utter load of "B****cks"

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2013.

Hope no motorists start fighting over the free spaces. Could become a free for all in more ways than one. I bet arranging this little gesture, with all of those big-shot meetings, has cost thousands, and what is the saving. If there are 60 spaces, and they go for two quid an hour, and they are all used for the duration of the free parking, it will cost just over £1,000. Big deal. Though I bet some people will have seen the headlines, assume the free parking is across the city and not pay, only to find a ticket slapped on their cars.

Arfur LoafDecember 2nd 2013.

In times of austerity it is what is "nedded" . People "brimming with excitement and enthusiasm".......I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 2nd 2013.

Have you ever heard of irony and sarcasm? A clue; "I bet Matta's, News from Nowhere and the Oxfam shop are beside themselves with excitement with promises of such a boost to sales"

Arfur LoafDecember 2nd 2013.

yeah, that bit of irony and the sarcasm I noticed. It was what was "nedded" I struggled with, can't wait for the video. The brimming with excitement and enthusiasm, is surely not one to be msed Moore Moore moore.

Mickeydrippin'December 2nd 2013.

Following mischief night, another rubbish American idea that has crossed the Atlantic! Are we Brits no longer able to come up with innovations of our own?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Arfur LoafDecember 3rd 2013.

Come on Mick, us Brits are coming up with all sorts of stupid ideas on our own. Who needs the Yanks, when we've got Big Joe and the rest of the clowns in the council.

Lord StreetDecember 3rd 2013.

Mischief Night is an old BRITISH tradition; mainly in Yorkshire, a night of anonymous practical jokes on 4th November. (Mischievous Catholics you see!) The children writing for the Echo reckon there is another 'mischief night' at Hallow E'en; but then they have difficulty with the spellings of Liverpool place- and street-names.

former readerDecember 3rd 2013.

From the difficulty they have with English I'd assumed that many of the people who write the Echo are American

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

Now if the Q Parks had free parking that would be something.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Chorlton CumhardyDecember 3rd 2013.

Yes, we could afford to visit the sick and dying in the Royal Hospital.

Arfur LoafDecember 3rd 2013.

On a serious note. Not so long ago I had an appointment at RLUH, I was informed that it would not take long. I was in need of a loaf (no pun intended) so decided to kill two birds with one stone, so I parked at the nearby Lidl. I visited the hospital, returned within the hour, having availed myself of their courtesy, I thought it only fair to shop at said shop. I was in no hurry so I spent quite a bit of time browsing their many wares, eventually emerging with a loaf and some other items. Some days later I received a missive demanding £45 because I'd overstayed the one and half hours stipulated on the parking sign. Fool that I am I paid it. I have subsequently learned that breach of contract only applies if you are party to a contract. If like me you receive such a demand, be wise enough to write "I do not contract" and return it to whoever sent it. I am reliably informed, you will hear no more.

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

Not that old one? Big signs all over the place and you didn't see them? And it's someone else's fault every time eh? Nice try

Arfur LoafDecember 3rd 2013.

On the contrary, nobody's fault but my own, yes I did see them, yes I did over stay the stipulated time, yes I did pay the £45 asked, which incidentally would have risen to £90, if the £45 wasn't forthcoming within 14 days of the issuance, did I have to pay NO. There is no legal responsibility whatsoever, because in a court of law it comes under breach of contract. If you haven't entered into a contract, you're unlikely to have breached it. These people will not go to a court of law, because they have no chance of winning, they rely on people being fools. Yes, before you ask I was a fool, I only relate this tale in order to redress my acknowledged foolishness

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

I watched a program recently about machines in car parks that didn't register £2 coins. They had been doctored to record it as £1. How often do people read what it says on the ticket from a machine? The cars were taken away and impounded. It cost megabucks to get the car back, thankfully trading standards were able to prosecute the offending owner of the scam, it emerged he'd made hundreds of thousand pounds

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

This is what the 'local' paper, the Daily Post, or is it the weekly Post, can never remember, says about the above story: And parking charges will also be suspended in other Liverpool local shopping hubs including Allerton Road, Lodge Lane, Smithdown Road, Old Swan and West Derby Village. Really? I have visited those areas for many years and have never been aware of any parking meters in Lodge Lane, Allerton Road, Smithdown Road, etc. Come on Dailjy (Weekly) Post, get yer facts sorted.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Arfur LoafDecember 3rd 2013.

This is what happens when Mancs write what is allegedly Liverpool newspapers. It's little wonder they don't use names such as Miles Platting, and Davy Hulme

Nuff SaidDecember 3rd 2013.

Or even Wally Range

Chorlton CumhardyDecember 3rd 2013.

Whatever was wrong with free parking on Sundays? If they want to boost small businesses in the city centre, wouldn't it be a better and more inclusive idea to lower the bus fares to a reasonable level on the four Advent Sundays?

Arfur LoafDecember 3rd 2013.

Ten out of ten Chorlton. There's a job going at BID are you interested? Can you brim with excitement and enthusiasm?

Chorlton CumhardyDecember 3rd 2013.

Nay lad but I can do a wheelie...

Ann FieldDecember 4th 2013.

You forgot to mention the unforgettable Ann Coates. No prizes for knowing where she comes from.

Dean S. GateDecember 4th 2013.

Oh Ann, you're such an Old Ham...

AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

It might also be a good idea to torun the same number of Merseyrail trains on Sunday as the rest of the week enjoys instead of cutting them to just TWO AN HOUR. Tiny three carriage jobs with everybody packed in like refugees from Calcutta. Do the people who run Merseyrail not know that the city centre is packed with shoppers on a Sunday or do they think we all still go to church and watch the Muppet Show?

Austin AllegroDecember 3rd 2013.

How many shop workers can afford to run cars at all let alone park them in the city centre?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 3rd 2013.

A condesceningly presumptuous generalisation isn't it?

Lord SnootyDecember 3rd 2013.

It's a fairly educated presumption, not quite a sweeping generalisation. It's intended as a rhetorical question, big words such as condescendingly and marmalade should be used sparingly, particularly when you can't spell them.

Austin AllegroDecember 3rd 2013.

Hardly, Anonymous! Most shop workers are part-time and are paid low hourly rates. Even many shop managers are low-paid. Especially when one takes into account the unsocial and long hours they can be expected to work.

Nuff SaidDecember 4th 2013.

Not to mention zero hours, split shifts. The threat of mass immigration, people only too willing to suffer the ignominy of these working conditions.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 4th 2013.

Just dropped in to a sample of shops and polled the helpful, cheery staff about whether they felt they were being treated ignominiously. The consultant says I should be off liquid food in a week and back home soon after

Nuff SaidDecember 4th 2013.

Get well soon. I hope the new backbone is better than the old one.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2013.

Hold on Nuff Said you cant whine about imigrants takeing these jobs and in the same sentence whine about the quality of the jobs and their conditions.

Great BritonDecember 5th 2013.

What "threat of mass immigration"? You are Nigel nutcase Farage and I claim my five euro.

Nigel NutcaseDecember 5th 2013.

You'll have to have it in ship halfpennies, farthings, pennies, and threepenny bits, ...............Don't say you wasn't warned come january

Kernel farragoDecember 6th 2013.

Steady on Nige. It doesn't do to be so free and easy with the family cupra.

Great BritonDecember 7th 2013.

Right, that's £4 3s 2½d you owe me.

Nutty NigeDecember 7th 2013.

Easy come Easy Go. Don't spend it all in the one shop

Amos NonymousDecember 7th 2013.


Nuff SaidDecember 5th 2013.

I can well understand immigrants taking these jobs, they pay a lot more than they do in their own countries. What I have difficulty in understanding however is the working conditions on offer for our fellow countrymen and women, there is a great divide between the "haves" and the "have nots", or have you failed to notice. Yes despite the inequalities our shop workers remain in the main cheerful, helpful etc. That is not to say that a decent living wage, would not go amiss. Would you still that we all touched our forelocks and were eternally grateful to have a job, The working classes of this country have always been held in contempt by the ruling classes, if in doubt just switch on the TV, and watch the news. Them I understand, aspiring illiterates like yourself, get up my nose.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 5th 2013.

Go you with the personal insults clearly the sign of a considered literate argument.

Nuff SaidDecember 5th 2013.

I will willingly engage in any debate as to the merits or otherwise of a subject. You it would appear have no other contribution to make other than smart arse remarks and comments you perceive to be humorous. Austin Allegro posted perfectly valid POV's. You or someone of similar ilk decided on pompous reply, which failed miserably. Austin had the grace to validate his previous utterances, aided and abetted by myself about practices widely despised by employees who are frequently told "If you don't like it you know where the door is". If this is not enough to contend with are also told "there's plenty of people waiting to take your place". All this for a pitiful pittance. I have every sympathy for the impoverished peoples throughout the World, they are lead to believe that this is the land of milk and honey, they come, are housed in atrocious conditions, work unbelievably long hours. All of this so the "haves" can live in the lap of luxury and are able to pontificate over a G and T on the subject of how hard we, the people of this nation should be working. They're not particularly bothered where their cheap labour comes from, so long as it's cheap. I hope this is as considered as you would like, if not I'll resort to personal insults, how they can be construed as personal, defeats me, after all you are anonymous. JB.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 6th 2013.

Nuff Said. Are you John Bradley?

John BradleyDecember 6th 2013.

No. Though I believe it may be Joan Bakewell.

Nuff SaidDecember 6th 2013.

Wrong again JB. I've got better legs.

John BradleyDecember 6th 2013.

Well it obviously wasn't me as their was no reference to my highly illustrated HS2 missive. peterirate.blogspot.com/…/hs2-phase-2-liverpool.html… or link some other peoples. data.parliament.uk/…/3649… or a link to DB suggest and perhaps we could do something the other way. www.globalrailnews.com/…/…

Nuff SaidDecember 6th 2013.

Impressive, you are a real fanatic, given the amount of effort taken to posture such a blog. Like I said initially on this subject "small potatoes"

John BradleyDecember 6th 2013.

About 1 hours for that entry, many because it was on the back of a submission re Phase 2. I do find it worrying that I'd have to a fanatic to give that amount of time to the future.

Mandy MaloneyDecember 6th 2013.

Hilarious that is vaunted by Cllr 'Small'

Amos NonymousDecember 6th 2013.

Q park in Dale St has advertised free weekend parking, every weekend throughout December in tonight's Echo..........." slightly bigger potatoes"

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 6th 2013.

Get the heck outta here with all your facts and evidence! Let Comrade Nuff indulge his prejudices and semi-developed, TV based theories without the encumbrance of reality! A pitiful pittance indeed! :-)

Great BritonDecember 7th 2013.

Another car-free day would be good, especially with the growing number of cyclists we are always being told about. The problem is though that some routes would probably have to remain open for sneering twerps' cars on such a day and thanks to poor planning the centre of Liverpool has no alternative routes. This is why it only takes one antisocial driver to park in a stupid place and most of the city centre can become gridlocked. Cyclists find themselves stuck in the main motor traffic because all the back streets are one-way, no-entry or are physically blocked off. Perhaps the Council ought to reconsider their traffic mismanagement with cyclists and a future car-free day in mind?

AnonymousDecember 7th 2013.

Park on Bold Street at your peril. Joe Anderson will issues with a ticket, why not? he lies about everything else

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