LEDBURY'S Mayor, Cllr Annette Crowe says it's the high number of independent shops in town which makes Christmas in town so special.

This Saturday, November 28, the switching on of the town's Christmas Lights means that traders will be looking forward not only to the start of the festive season but to one of the busiest days of their year.

Cllr Crowe, who runs the Past and Present jewellery business on the Homend, said: "The good thing about independent shops is that people will not get the same things as everyone else.

"Customers come to Ledbury because they could not get the same things anywhere else."

Trade in town this Saturday will get a double boost with the fact that parking on all of Ledbury's car parks will be free.

There will be free car parking all day at St Katherine's, Bye Street, Bridge Street and Lawnside car parks.

Cllr Crowe said: "Free parking for the day is a fantastic boost for trade. People in less affluent times have to weigh up costs, and money spent on car parking can be spent instead in shops."

For many people, also, this weekend will see the last pay day before Christmas, when folks are in the mood to spend.

Cllr Crowe also had praise for the Ledbury Reporter's #VeryLedbury campaign, which is beating the drum for the local scene and local trade, in the run up to Christmas.

She said: "It's really important to have the town's paper supporting traders in this way."

Cllr Crowe said she always looked forward to the switching on of the Christmas Lights which, this year, will take place at 4.30pm.

She said: "There is a real local buzz, with the kids and everyone all wrapped up for the cold; and it's the start of Christmas, really."

She said that many traders had provided gifts for free or at cut price for Santa's Grotto.

"Its about the traders supporting the town and the town supporting the traders," she said.