Mayo County Council received strong opposition this week to a proposal to reduce the sittings of the Claremorris electoral area committee meetings from every month to bi-monthly. One local councillor

Rural towns in Mayo are on their knees but none more so than those with pay and display parking bye-laws.

That is according to a Ballinrobe area councillor who has called on Mayo County Council to look at the technology in parking metres in Claremorris and Ballinrobe to see if they can be upgraded to facilitate a period of free parking in the town centres.

Cllr Michael Burke said the two towns were dying on their feet with smaller business operators “being hammered”. He told a meeting of the Claremorris electoral area committee this week it would be a major bonus for them to have free parking for a period outside their doors.

What local councillors are proposing is that shoppers could avail of a free half hour parking and then pay per hour thereafter. “We have to be looking at what we can do and not what we can’t do,” was Cllr Burke’s sentiments.

It was also agreed at Wednesdays meeting that the same parking arrangements that were in place in Claremorris and Ballinrobe last Christmas would be implemented again this festive season. While the dates have to be finalised, shoppers will be treated to a period of free parking in an effort to boost business in the two towns.

Cllr Richard Finn raised the issue of rates and added it was a hard line when rate payers also had to pay for parking.

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