The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on UK councils to waive parking charges on Small Business Saturday.

The Forum believes that parking charges discourage many consumers from shopping on the high street, potentially diminishing the customer base of small businesses. It has written to all UK councils urging free parking on 7 December.

FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: “Small businesses make up the grass roots of our membership and are at the heart of every local community. The Forum is a proud supporter of Small Business Saturday, which is about reconnecting people with the small businesses in their local areas and demonstrating the enormous value that they bring to individual customers and to the UK as whole. To make it a real success everyone needs to play their part and local councils have a key role to play in removing one of the barriers for small businesses.”

Orford praised councils who have already announced plans for free parking on the day but called for all local authorities to follow suit. “We welcome this work by councils but in order to maximise the success of the day across the whole of the UK, we want to see all councils implement this policy,” he said.