The leader of Harrow Borough Council's Labour group says free parking would be available for the next four years if Labour wins in May’s elections.

Cllr David Perry made the pledge after the council's Conservative administration announced in its budget it would introduce 20-minutes free parking across the borough.

The Tories say they will bring in the scheme as pay and display machines are upgraded over the next three to four months.

But Cllr Perry was keen to stress Labour's attachment to sparing motorists' wallets and supporting shops.

He said: “Over the weekend the Labour Group spoke to over 500 local businesses, as a part of our campaign to support district centres in Harrow.

“We believe that local businesses are essential to the success of Harrow and we have long called for periods of free parking to help local shops and businesses.

“We welcome Cllr Hall’s U-turn, however the Tories do not deserve a pat on the back for this.

“It has taken sustained pressure from the Labour Party, traders and residents to force this U-Turn. Even then, Cllr Hall has not guaranteed the funding long term.

“In contrast, the Labour Group pledge is for a period of free parking will be funded for the next four years, to ensure the long term success of Harrow.”