James Brokenshire met multiple local independent businesses in Abingdon Town Centre on Friday, accompanied by Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon James Fredrickson and local Conservative councillors. The tour allowed the Secretary of State to hear first-hand how the Vale Council's commitment to free 2-hour town centre parking and programmes to support the uptake of empty retail units were helping to support Abingdon's local businesses.
From 2017 to 2018, over half of the empty retail units in Abingdon have been filled, in part thanks to an independent shop project ran by Vale Council.
On top of that, last week the Vale Council voted to maintain providing 2-hour free parking in the town centres, on the grounds that the measure helps to attract footfall.
James Fredrickson said “I'm delighted that the Secretary of State took up our offer to come to Abingdon to meet some of the businesses who are benefiting from the support provided by the Vale Council. Measures to support our independent businesses and boosting footfall are key to keeping our Towns as an attractive place to live and work.”