Hertsmere Borough Council has postponed plans to make motorists pay to park for up to an hour at two car parks in Bushey.

The council was proposing to introduce new parking charges from April at Kemp Place and Bushey Country Club.

It's currently free to park for up to an hour at both car parks but the council was intending to change this to £1.

However, Cllr Jean Heywood revealed at a senior meeting of council members on January 12 that this change has been put on hold.

Watford Observer: Bushey Country Club car park Bushey Country Club car park

She was responding to comments from fellow Executive member Paul Morris, who is a Conservative councillor in Bushey Heath.

He said the pandemic had been a "final nail in the coffin" for many businesses and the council needs to be in a position of "supporting local businesses to recover".

Cllr Morris indicated taking away free parking would deter shoppers from making quick visits to Bushey which he said would have a "significant detrimental effect" on businesses in the high street.

He added: "I request that the first hour is retained as free. This will permit shoppers to go to local shops for products and services without incurring this punitive charge.

"We fully appreciate the need to address the issue (resolving gaps in the council budget), however the potential loss of local businesses which in turn would impact on reduced business rates far outweighs any additional contribution the increase in parking charges would make."

Cllr Heywood told Cllr Morris that discussions earlier in the day with council officers had ended with an agreement that both Kemp Place and Bushey Country Club will stay free for an hour - for now.

Council leader Morris Bright, who was chairing the meeting, agreed that he didn't think it was the right time to start introducing charges.

The proposed change formed part of the council's budget for the 2022/23 financial year, which comes into force from April.