Lots of constituents have been emailing me over the past few days asking me to oppose the Government’s changes to Sunday trading hours.
You’ve all raised important points about the impact on smaller, independent shops and the fact the Government hasn’t produced an impact assessment.
You’ve raised concerns that with the rise of 24 hour supermarkets Sunday remains the only day of the week where staff know for sure that they will have some time off to spend with their family and friends.
I think even the Government know that changing the current arrangement is not something that people want, that’s why they’re trying to introduce it by the back door. Devolution of Sunday Trading will surely see some towns or cities introduce longer Sunday hours as an attempt to gain a competitive advantage over other shopping locations nearby, leading to a gradual shift across the country as owners of big stores lobby for the right to open.
I voted against the plan in the House of Commons last night and we saw the first major defeat for David Cameron in this Parliament. I hope that they will move on from this idea and focus on providing meaningful support to retailers in towns like Bolton.