Airdrie butcher opposes council proposals

An Airdrie butcher has coordinated a campaign against the council’s proposal to introduce parking charges, saying it will harm local businesses already under pressure from the supermarkets and cost local workers £3,000 a year.

Graeme Johnston, who runs Ferguson’s Butchers, has organised hundreds of his customers to sign individual copies of a letter he has written to North Lanarkshire Council objecting to the proposals. Local MP Alex Neil is opposed to the plans 

The council plans to introduce off-street parking charges in selected car parks across the area. 

Graeme said: “Customer have to shop where they can get the best value and free parking is big part of that.

“At the moment we have a level playing field of sorts when we are compared to out-of-town shopping centres, but parking charges will change that.

“The supermarkets (who have free parking) are already very competitive and small town centre businesses will struggle to attract customers if these charges are put in place.

Graeme has also calculated the financial impact on his staff and people who work in the town centre. 

He said: “I’ve been telling my staff that this is an issue that is important to them. An extra cost of £13 per day translates to an extra £3,000 per year out of their wages and that is just not viable.

“I feel like this is a new form of tax on the people of Airdrie.”

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