Santa won't have to pay if he's parking his sleigh in a Council car park on a Saturday in the run-up to Christmas.
East Dunbartonshire Council is suspending parking charges on Saturdays 1, 8, 15 and 22 December as people flock to the shops to find festive gifts.
Car parking charges were temporarily suspended for Kirkintilloch Canal Festival and Milngavie Food and Drink Festival earlier this year.
The Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee agreed that applications to suspend car parking charges – to support local events and economic development activity – would be considered on an individual basis.
In addition, Brookwood car park in Bearsden has been temporarily reopened for the festive period from 5 December 2018 until 3 January 2019.
Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener, said, "I am pleased we have been able to temporarily suspend parking charges for the four Saturdays in the run-up to Christmas Day.
"I would encourage as many people as possible to shop local where possible - especially in the run-up to Christmas - helping to support local businesses and retailers.
"Appropriately, the first day of suspended charges is 1 December - which is Small Business Saturday."
Please note, to ensure public safety the Council's community wardens will still be enforcing parking regulations and restrictions for any vehicles parked inappropriately (on-street and off-street) - including Blue Badge misuse.
Charges are currently in place for a number of Council car parks in Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie.
Meanwhile, a variety of Christmas lights switch-on events are taking place locally - organised by communities, traders and local groups - and supported by the Council.
The latest times (please check locally for more details of each event and any changes) are:
- Bishopbriggs - Thursday 29 November - 5pm
A feast of festive fun is on offer at Bishopbriggs town centre from 4-6pm on Thursday 29 November - organised by Bishopbriggs Community Council. The lights will be switched on by the Gala Queen at 5pm and attractions include a Santa's Grotto at Morrisons, eats and treats in the library, festive cheer and performances by local school choirs. Please note, the access road to St Matthew's Church will be temporarily closed.
- Milton of Campsie - Friday 30 November - 5.45pm
Milton of Campsie Community Council has announced that the lights will be switched on at 5.45pm on Friday 30 November, coinciding with Craighead Primary's Christmas Fayre. There will be fab festive tunes and gifts for children.
- Torrance - Friday 30 November - 7pm
The Christmas Lights will be switched on by the Gala Queen. Join Torrance Community Council at the village square at 7pm, with treats for the kids. Santa will be at the Caldwell Halls and there will be teas, coffees, hot dogs, stalls and a raffle.
- Westerton - Friday 30 November - 7pm
The Westerton Community Christmas Tree will be switched on at 7pm as part of the celebration organised by Bearsden West Community Council at Westerton Hall. Entertainment from 6-8pm will include community craft stalls, Westerton Male Voice Choir, Westerton Primary School Choir, free mulled wine and mince pies, children's activities in Westerton Library and more.
- Kirkintilloch - Saturday 1 December - 5pm
Kirkintilloch Christmas Fun Day and Lights Switch-On will be taking place between noon and 8pm, with live music and entertainment in the Regent Centre and Gardens. The main lights will be turned on at 5pm, followed by fireworks (weather permitting). Attractions include Santa (arriving at noon), funfair, Clyde 1 Drivetime DJs, Rookie Rockstars and more. You can also contribute to the Christmas gift collection for disadvantaged children within the centre. Please note, Union Street will be temporarily closed.
- Milngavie - Saturday 1 December - 5pm
Milngavie BID has organised 'Merry Milngavie' from noon in the town centre, including a chance to see Santa and his sleigh with real Cairngorm reindeers. Robin and Adele from Heart radio's breakfast show will be hosting - with the lights switched on at 5pm - and there will be performances from local talent and X Factor contestant Emily Middlemas. There will also be Christmas fun, carol singing, balloon modelling, cake decorating and lots of other entertainment.
- Lenzie - Saturday 1 December - 5.30pm
Lenzie Community Council has revealed that the Christmas lights will be switched on by Father Christmas on Saturday 1 December at Lenzie Old Parish Church. The event starts at 5pm and will be hosted by Paul Harper from Heart radio. There will be music from Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass and carols by Lenzie Christian Fellowship, before the lights switch-on at 5.30pm. Father Christmas will be handing out sweets and chocolate for the children, with shortbread for adults. There will be refreshments afterwards in the church hall.
- Lennoxtown - Friday 7 December - 5pm
Lennoxtown Primary School's PTA will hold the annual Christmas Fayre in conjunction with Lennoxtown's switch-on event on Friday 7 December. The lights will be switched on at 5pm and the fayre is being held from 5pm-7pm. Attractions will include Santa's Grotto, face painting, fairground rides, gifts, refreshments, snacks and more.
- Bearsden - Friday 7 December - 6pm
Parking charges will be suspended for the day at the Council-owned car park.
Councillor Hendry added, "Festive events are a great way for people to get together to start the seasonal celebrations - supporting local retailers into the bargain and helping to support the local economy. Why not go along and see what's on offer in your town centre?"
- Town Centre Strategies have been compiled for Bearsden, Bishopbriggs and Milngavie - providing long-term visions and proposed actions.