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HAVANT Borough Council is giving away three hours’ free parking on Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to use local retailers.

People using any Havant Borough Council car park on Saturday, December 6 will be able to park for free for any three-hour period on that day.

Councillor Yvonne Weeks, responsible for economy and communities for the authority, said: ‘Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to celebrate our local small businesses.

‘Offering three hours’ free parking will encourage more people to come and see what they have to offer.

‘There are around 700 independent small businesses in the borough’s town centres and they are vital to the local economy. They provide employment and valuable services, bringing money into the borough.’

Marie Telford, Hayling Island Bookshop owner who had lobbied for free parking for the first Small Business Saturday in 2013, added: ‘I am delighted that once again Havant Borough Council has decided to support Small Business Saturday by making parking in car parks free for three hours on the day.

‘The car park offer is a great opportunity for the borough’s small businesses to meet customers old and new and demonstrate the quality of their service.

‘There is clear evidence that people are willing to change their shopping habits and shop locally, providing we can demonstrate the right balance of value and personal service.’