Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for South Belfast Michael McGimpsey has welcomed the freeze in parking charges across Northern Ireland by the Ulster Unionist Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy.
The Minister announced the freeze in charges following this weeks Executive Committee meeting where he had received approval for the move.
In a statement Mr McGimpsey said, “I welcome the move by my party colleague Danny Kennedy to freeze parking charges across Northern Ireland including in Belfast City Centre. The freeze in parking charges along with the announcement earlier this week that charges for park and ride facilities are to be waivered in the evenings in the run up to Christmas will undoubtedly offer a boost to city centre shops who have suffered greatly as a result of the economic downturn and competition from out of town shopping centres.”
“I find it deeply regretful that other departments are not doing more to support local business and jobs in Northern Ireland. After a number of high profile job losses in recent times such as FG Wilson there is likely to be an even greater strain on the local economy in the run up to Christmas.”
In conclusion Mr McGimpsey said, “The Christmas period is a critical time of year for many businesses and I believe this move by Danny Kennedy will help but more must be done across all Executive departments to ensure we are doing all we can to support local traders, local business and protect existing jobs.”