Cllr Sean Drew.
The three-month free parking initiative in Kells - which commenced in May and finished last Saturday - has impacted positively on business, according to Kells Chamber of Commerce president, Geraldine Gaughran.
Under the initiative, Kells Town Council approved free parking in the town from 12 noon to 3pm each Saturday afternoon.
Cllr Sean Drew has now sought the opinion of the town's traders as to the effect of the scheme and to gauge if the initiative was a success.
"I have spoken with a number of the traders in the town in the past couple of weeks regarding the impact that the three hours free parking has had on business. The majority of those I have spoken to said the incentive proved successful with an increase in footfall and turnover on Saturdays during the three hour period," he said.
"I am now urging the relevant representative business bodies in Kells, including Kells Chamber and Kells traders, to submit a written report to the town council on whether their members considered the initiative a success.
"At the September meeting of the town council, I will be seeking a report outlining the impact the free parking has had on the parking income received by the Council over the three months since May," he said.
Cllr Drew said that, following the review, if the consensus is that the free parking scheme has been beneficial to the traders, he will call for the implementation of an extension of the initiative.
"Obviously, any loss of parking income will have a negative impact on the council's finances; however, it will be up to the town councillors to make the relevant savings elsewhere in their budget.
"I have on previous occasions made suggestions to the council as to where savings could be made in the council's finances to implement free parking initiatives. With the support and willingness of the councillors, I would hope that we can see further free parking in Kells in the near future," he concluded.
Kells town clerk, Aine Bird, said that the reprogramming of the machines to allow for the free parking period was a difficult and expensive job.
She said the council would be looking at its finances to see the difference the free parking initiative had made to the council finances. "We have no immediate plans to extend the initiative," she said.
Ms Bird explained that the council had set aside €10,000 in this year's budget to allow for the free parking initiative.
Chamber president, Geraldine Gaughran, said retailers had reported a good buzz around the town during the free parking periods. She pointed out that the Kells Chamber free draw continues until this Friday.
This initiative was run to coincide with the free parking and shoppers were asked to keep their Kells shopping receipts so they could enter into a free draw with €500 in Kells Gift Vouchers in prizes.
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