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‘Throw-away’ social media comment inspires weekly’s Monopoly splash

A “throw-away” social media comment prompted a weekly newspaper to run a Monopoly-themed front page.

The Wishaw Press was inspired to run the splash spoofing the board game yesterday after North Lanarkshire Council performed a U-turn on its plan to introduce town centre parking charges at 51 public car parks.

The game’s ‘Free Parking’ space was used to illustrate the move on the cover of the Press, pictured below, while council leader Jim Logue was portrayed as Monopoly mascot ‘Rich Uncle Pennybags’.

Press editor Kenny Barr explained to HTFP how the idea came about.

Wishaw Monopoly

He said: “The Monopoly-theme P1 came about from a general throw-away comment on social media about how ‘politicians make decisions like they’re spending Monopoly money’.

“The link to the Free Parking square was obvious and led to the P1 design.”

Kenny added local reaction to the council’s decision not to introduce the charges had been “hugely positive”.

He said: “Over the years, this proposal had surfaced and been booted out several times before. However this time, given the serious financial pressure the local authority is under, it was given the green light.

“There was huge public backlash, especially from small business owners, many of whom were already struggling to survive before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

“Fears quickly surfaced that the introduction of parking charges would be the final nail in the coffin of high street trading. Opposition parties last week successfully introduced an amendment to block the move.

“No parking charges will be introduced during the course of the current administration. But council leader Jim Logue has warned that the decision will leave a £600,000 gap in the authority’s budget.

“Local reaction has been hugely positive with many comments from business owners congratulating the authority for making what they believe is the right decision.

“It’s been called a ‘victory for common sense’ and a decision ‘that will save our town.'”