Parking to lure public to town
Blenheim's central business district will have free parking for shoppers in the buildup to Christmas.
Marlborough Chamber of Commerce executive Debbie Carter told the Blenheim Ratepayers and Residents' Association meeting last night that the Marlborough District Council had agreed to provide free parking from 4pm on two Thursdays in December just before Christmas to encourage shoppers into town.
The free parking applies to all spaces except those in the Alfred St carpark building after 4pm on December 12 and 19.
The chamber would run a Christmas-themed window decoration competition for retailers, and posters on the parking and the contest would be going out soon.
The shop window winners would get a morning tea provided by the Marlborough Community College and a case of wine, Mrs Carter said.
The chamber was also co-ordinating the Salvation Army band, students, and buskers to sing carols during late-night shopping as part of an effort to revitalise the district, she said.
Parking was a hot topic at the meeting, attended by 12 people, including Blenheim ward councillors Jamie Arbuckle, Jessica Bagge, and Laressa Shenfield.
Michael Mooney, who was also a candidate for the Blenheim ward in October's council elections, said the council should stopusing parking wardens on Saturdays, when the Marlborough Artisan Market was on, and on Thursdays, rather than just having free parking at the Wynen St carpark.
He said retailers and other Blenheim people had told him they were upset by wardens giving tickets for expired warrants of fitness and registrations, and disputed the legality of them marking people's car tyres.
Phil Welch said he had no issue with the wardens issuing tickets for parking too long, or for expired warrants and registrations, but was concerned at the way it was done.
Peter Chapman agreed the wardens should do "hospitality 101" courses.
Other topics discussed included spray drift and concerns about radiation from cellphone towers, which could be addressed in the council district plan review.
Members were also keen to take part in a review of the council's voting system in 2015, saying that few people understood how the single transferable vote system worked.
The next association meeting on November 25 will discuss measures against the sale of legal highs.
- The Marlborough Express