Renewed call on Ormskirk Town centre

Call Renewed on Mobile Phone Parking Payment and Purchase of Retail Units as Council Cabinet consider Town Centre Strategy

Councillor Owens and Ian Davis at a Pay and Display unit

Council Independents, Our West Lancashire have renewed their call for car parkers in Ormskirk to be able to pay and top up by mobile phone and for the council to purchase retail units in the town. The call comes as the council’s cabinet prepares to consider the Ormskirk Town Centre Strategy.

Leader of Our West Lancashire, Councillor Adrian Owens said, “We first made the call for people parking their cars in Ormskirk to be able to pay by mobile phone in February. Council officers costed this at no more than £7,000. Parking could still be paid by cash or card, but this idea would benefit trade significantly. It increases choice and convenience for shoppers – no more hunting for the right loose change and through automatic top up on their mobile shoppers could stay longer in the town if their plans changed. Rather than having to rush back to their car they would hopefully spend more with local Traders.”

On purchase of retail units in the town, Our West Lancashire point out that South Ribble council achieves an 11% return on their retail portfolio while Chorley council have just bought a shopping centre which achieved a 7% return in its first year.

Cllr Owens said, “Owning and operating retail units is something we have experience of in West Lancashire. Our Estates team already successfully manage two shopping parades in Skelmersdale, and achieve around an 8% return. Buying retail property in Ormskirk town centre would allow us to say no to certain types of shops and instead work to bring the retail mix we need in the town. It could also bring in £100,000s extra in revenue each year.

The two main political parties on the council have suffered from a ‘not invented here’ attitude in the past. I hope they can see good ideas when they are presented and will adopt these when the town centre strategy is considered.”