Resolution on Sunday Trading

Here is a motion I have submitted to the next Full Council, which will be held on 10th December 2015:

Council notes that the Government has launched a consultation on whether to devolve the power to set the hours of Sunday trading.

Council further notes that whilst Council would generally welcome the devolution of new powers that these are powers that local government has not asked for.

In addition, Council notes that the government’s own economic evidence states that longer Sunday opening will not generate more consumer spending and will lead to fewer retail jobs, so this is not a tool for economic regeneration and that longer Sunday opening is unpopular with the public – the latest survey showed 77% support the current opening arrangements – and will have negative consequences for communities including shopworkers, who are already pressured to work longer hours than they wish on Sundays, convenience stores which are often a ‘lifeline’ to communities will lose trade and the government’s evidence shows that some stores will close and Sundays will become more like any other day, making it harder to hold community events.

Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government advising that this Council believes that the Sunday Trading Act has worked well for 20 years and ensures that Sunday remains a special day whilst allowing shops to trade.

Council further resolves to write to all local MPs outlining the Council’s position.

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6 Responses to Resolution on Sunday Trading

  1. Does this sort of devolution offer a further threat to local authorities?

    I am thinking of other “licensing” issues – where a council rather than fighting an application from a big company (usually in the leisure or “entertainment” sector) that it believes is wrong for their community, non-the-less caves in and grants the application because it knows that it cannot defend the cost of being taken to appeal if it turns down the application.

  2. Rob Brown says:

    Your motion suggests it actually lowers employment. Why would this be?

  3. From

    USDAW BRIEFING FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES: AUGUST 2015 PROPOSED DEVOLUTION OF POWER TO SET TRADING HOURS:

    The British Retail Consortium’s figures showed that during the Olympic Sunday Trading period, retail sales fell by 0.4% compared to the previous year (BRC monthly footfall indices, August 2012). BIS reported that analysis of ONS data for the period shows the impact was, “largely inconclusive in terms of economic benefits, with modest benefit to the larger retailers but a more significant loss to smaller retailers”.

    (Letter from Jo Swinson MP, BIS Minister to John Hannett, June 2014)

  4. Also:

    The Government’s Cost-Benefit Analysis of deregulation of Sunday Trading in 2006i concluded that extending the hours of Sunday trading would not result in any increase in retail sales or in employment.
    Furthermore, the report stated that liberalisation of Sunday trading would have a detrimental effect on small stores (and therefore on High Streets) and would also speed up reductions in Sunday premium pay for staff.

  5. Pam Dewey says:

    During the Olympic period the only store to do well was the Marks Food Hall, where we bought our fresh sandwiches and drinks rather than face McDonalds or half-baked pasties and burgers. Sales assistants were standing in their doorways watching people stream to the Olympic stadium and then back to the tube – hardly fair to compare statistics with this period. However I do support you in not changing Sunday hours, despite shopping malls becoming the new church for families!

  6. Rob Brown says:

    Inconclusive or having little/no effect I can believe. I can’t believe it will lower employment. Disproportionately hit smaller shops certainly, but I suspect it would have a positive impact on the high street.

    I just want the freedom to shop when I want and not be restricted to Sundays.

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