Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce is calling upon Waverley Borough Council (WBC) to properly support our high streets this Christmas by offering local residents free parking days in the lead up to Christmas this year. At present, they are only offering free parking after 3pm on one day in December in each of our towns, which is simply a gesture that will not make any meaningful difference.

Neighbouring Mole Valley District Council has announced that it will be completely free to park in any of their car parks across Dorking, Leatherhead, Bookham, Ashtead and Fetcham on the first three Saturdays in December (the 2nd, 9th and 16th) and we would urge that WBC follows their approach to benefit local residents and our retailers, who still face considerable challenges.

John Taylor, President of Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce, said: “A similar decision by Waverley would show that they value our high streets and want to sustain their vibrancy and diversity, and help our residents to more easily support local shops and services providers in our towns.

“It would also encourage them to stay parked for longer, which would enable residents to also support our local cafés, pubs and restaurants while doing their Christmas shopping. This would really help get Christmas off to a good start for everyone locally.”

For more information on the Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.godalmingchamber.org.uk