Sunday trading extension 'not just high streets'

Campaigners against changes to Sunday trading rules have urged MPs not to be "taken in" by reports that government plans to devolve Sunday trading decisions to local authorities will only be applied to high streets.

While Brandon Lewis has suggested in an article in the Telegraph that there had been a ‘last minute change’ to the plans which will benefit town centres over out of town locations, there are no clauses in the Enterprise Bill that ensure or promote the use of these new powers for high street or town centre locations, the group says.  

The House of Commons tabling office has confirmed that the Government has not tabled any new amendments to the Enterprise Bill on Sunday Trading and that the deadline for new amendments has now passed.

The Government tabled one amendment last week that clarifies that local authorities could extend Sunday trading hours to a "particular zone, district or street within the area" not that they would have to.  This could include out of town supermarkets, garden centres and shopping centres.

A spokesperson from the Keep Sunday Special campaign said: "Brandon Lewis’s comments in the Telegraph are misleading. There have been no extra amendments or changes to amendments put in place ahead of the vote this week to help town centres or ‘draw a line’ around shopping districts. The Government is attempting to press ahead with its original plans to give councils free reign over the Sunday trading hours in their area, whilst trying to dress the plans up as helping high streets."

The plans are due to be voted on during the Report Stage of the Enterprise Bill on Wednesday.

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