TRADERS calling on Sheffield Council to allow shoppers to park on a nearby site owned by the authority to boost trade have been backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The Millhouses Traders’ Association hoped Christmas shoppers could use the car park in the old Abbeydale Grange School site – but their request was refused by the Labour-run council on the basis of ‘health and safety’.
Mr Clegg, Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, is calling on the council to ‘see sense’ and arrange for the car park to be temporarily used for car parking.
He also congratulated the owners of the nearby Millhouses pub, who are allowing the public to use its car park before the pub opens at noon.
Mr Clegg said: “At a time when small businesses and retailers are doing their best to make ends meet, the last thing they need is a ‘can’t do’ Labour Council. It is deeply frustrating that Millhouses traders are not being supported by the council.
“I’m delighted the Millhouses pub is showing the council how it should be done when it comes to community spirit.
“I urge the council to follow that example and think again.”
Simon Argall, from the pub, said: “Being part of the community is part of our ethos and we are keen to do all we can to make it easier for people who are visiting the area.
“However, we feel more support should be given by the council to the association, which is working hard to keep businesses growing and offering employment opportunities.
“This request would give them the best possible chance to increase visitors to the area, particularly in the run up to the festive season.”
Coun Bryan Lodge, council cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “In the run up to Christmas we will be working at the school site with heavy machinery as part of plans to move the site on to the next phase of development.
“It would therefore be totally unsafe to allow motorists to park their cars on the site. We cannot risk people’s health and safety.”
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