Wirral’s local Conservative Councillors have dismissed the plan for four weeks free parking as ‘pathetic and out of touch’ for the borough’s struggling high street retailers.

And the West Kirby Councillor, who is leading a campaign to scrap the charges permanently, says that Labour’s plan to reintroduce parking charges barely four weeks after shops were able to reopen does not reflect the reality.

Councillor Jenny Johnson (West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward) said: “Our local, independent retailers have barely had the chance to reopen, yet the Labour Cabinet is already planning to tax their customers.

“Lockdown has seen massive shifts in shopping with more people than ever buying online from the likes of Amazon.  If we’re not careful, this could be the death knell for our local traders. Jobs will be lost and high streets will become ghost towns unless we stop these charges.

“Labour’s parking plan fails to recognise the challenges our local shops and traders face in recovering a share of consumer spending. 

“It’s also incredibly short sighted – parking changes next month could easily lead to no Business Rates the next month if any of our struggling traders decide to cease trading.”

Councillor Johnson is now urging councillors, regardless of political party, to back her call to delay any decision until the current Cabinet is scrapped in September.

She said: “This Cabinet, the last we have to endure, will be gone in eight weeks. 

“It would be wrong for them to dictate policy beyond that date.

“I am asking councillors across Wirral to stand up for their local shopping areas and back our call to delay any new charges until we have the reintroduction of democracy in the council in September.”

Councillors have four days to call in the decision to reintroduce parking charges.