Urging people to have say on Sunday trading

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Anne-Marie Trevelyan

MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan is encouraging residents in north Northumberland to respond to a consultation on Sunday trading.

Following an announcement in the Summer Budget, the Government has now launched the consultation document into changing Sunday trading rules as well as proposals to devolve powers to decide them at a local level.

Mrs Trevelyan has voiced support for the view that Sunday should remain a day of rest for families.

In a joint statement, Ministers Anna Soubry and Brandon Lewis said: “The current Sunday trading rules were established over 20 years ago, but the consumer environment has changed enormously since then and high street shops are facing growing competition from the rise of online and mobile-phone shopping.

“Internet sales now account for 11.5 per cent of all retail sales and have more than quadrupled since 2006.

“The current rules have not kept pace with these changes and stifle businesses’ efficiency and competitiveness, reducing consumer choice and also limiting the ability of our major cities to compete for international tourism.

They added: “Devolving this power to local areas means that they can ensure that the rules reflect local preferences, shopping habits and economic conditions and will give them greater flexibility to make decisions for themselves.”

Mrs Trevelyan said: “I will be asking local churches and their congregations to participate and I encourage as many people as possible, whether they are church-goers or not, to respond to this consultation.

“My own view is that Sunday should still be a day of rest for families and that increasing hours is likely to mean that those who work in retail may be expected to work as standard on Sundays without appropriate protections in law, which I would personally seek.”

The consultation document can be viewed on the gov.uk website.