William Eichler 12 October 2015

Devolution of Sunday trading could 'undermine' high street warns retailers

Devolution of Sunday trading could undermine high street warns retailers image

A majority of local authority chief executives would include retail parks, supermarkets and shopping centres in any relaxation of Sunday trading rules, a survey carried out by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) reveals.

The survey showed that 52% of local authority chief executives would include out of town retail parks and supermarkets, as well as large shopping centres as their first or second preference for extending opening hours on a Sunday if the regulations were to pass.

This would mean, argues the ACS, that devolution of Sunday trading rules will have a substantial impact on jobs and the economy because high street shops wouldn’t be able to compete with the large retailers.

The government’s plan to liberalise Sunday trading laws, first introduced in a consultation document on 5 August this year, is aimed at boosting the local economy by £1.4bn a year.

High streets, the Government claims, would then be able to compete more effectively with online businesses and smaller retailers, while also offering consumers more choice about when to shop locally.

But, in evidence submitted to the Government last month, the ACS cited research by Oxford Economics that shows if implemented by councils across England and Wales, extended Sunday trading hours would cost small shops in excess of £870m whilst generating no extra revenue for the economy overall, leading to a net loss of 3,270 jobs across the retail industry.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: ‘Let’s be absolutely clear, these devolution plans will lead to widespread 24/7 opening, with out of town retail parks the big winners, and small high street shops the losers.’

In a further blow to the government’s plan, which will be debated in parliament this week, the Social Market Foundation has produced a report that purports to show that a change in Sunday trading regulations doesn’t pass the Prime Minister’s ‘family test’, which he launched in 2014 for all new laws going through Parliament.

Emran Mian, director of the Social Market Foundation, said: ‘The risks to family life posed by the Government’s proposed changes to Sunday trading regulations are significant. Retail is already a sector where staff are working long and atypical hours, and working for longer on Sundays will hurt families by stopping them from spending time together.’

‘While the family test was introduced with a lot of fanfare, it looks like the Government will fail to implement the test on the first big issue where it is relevant,’ he added.

Best practice in resident ballots image

Best practice in resident ballots

Residents on the South Kilburn Estate overwhelmingly voted in favour of council plans to regenerate their neighbourhood in October 2019. Brent’s strategic director for regeneration and environment Amar Dave shares the lessons learned for other landlords holding resident ballots.
Highways jobs

Senior Manager – Older Adults – Residential Care

Cumbria County Council
£68,709 - £71,218
This pivotal role requires leadership and management of the Council's twenty in house Residential Care services Carlisle, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Analyst

Essex County Council
£30000 - £35350 per annum
This opportunity is on a 12-month, fixed term basis. Working hours are Monday to Friday, 37 hours per week. Our Data & Analytics service is evolving, England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

FM Performance Administrator

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
¡£27,690 to £33,554 per annum
Looking for an experienced and professional Facilities Performance Administrator with a proven track record for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Team Manager - Special Guardianship Order Support

Essex County Council
Negotiable
In ECC we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded 'Outstanding' by England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine