Published: November 22, 2012
Council offers free parking for Burnham's Christmas lights switch-on

Sedgemoor District Council is to offer free car parking in Burnham-On-Sea during this Saturday's Christmas lights switch-on, the first time it has waived charges since 2007.

The council will remove charges in all of Burnham's car parks from 3pm on Saturday (24th November) to encourage attendance at the switch-on and help to boost trade at the town's shops.

The decision follows complaints from Burnham and Highbridge Town Council after the district council turned down an earlier request to waive parking charges for a whole week during the run-up to Christmas. A Sedgemoor spokesman said it would offer free parking during events to promote festive shopping.

An afternoon of free family entertainment will be held outside the Somerset and Dorset pub in Burnham High Street from 3pm this Saturday, featuring music Burnham's Mudlarks Community Choir, St Andrew's School and local hand bell ringers.

Father Christmas is due to arrive at around 3.20pm, with free surprises for children. There will also be face painting for youngsters.

Burnham's Carnival Queen will arrive at 4.30pm, along with the Mayor and VIP guests, including Burnham's Olympic torch bearers, and the switch-on itself will take place at 4.45pm.

Somerset equestrian rider Deb Criddle, right, who won three medals at the 2012 London Games, will be joined by Burnham Paralympic swimmer Anthony Stephens in switching on the lights.

Many traders in Burnham will be staying open until 6.30pm after the Christmas switch-on for visitors to get their Christmas shopping underway.

Saturday's event will be led by local radio presenter Ian Burrage and it is being organised by Burnham Chamber of Trade, Burnham Town Team and Burnham Lions. Any late changes will be announced on Burnham-On-Sea.com.

A spokesman for the Chamber of Trade welcomed the free parking, telling Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is excellent news. Our members appreciate the news and hope that it encourages more residents to come along to the switch-on and do some early Christmas shopping in the town."

The district council used to provide free parking in the run-up to Christmas, but this stopped five years ago after the 2007 parking offer. Town councillor Chris Williams has campaigned for the re-introduction of the parking offer.

RELATED LINKS:

Burnham Chamber of Trade official website

 


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