Labour launches campaign to save high streets
The Labour party has announced a four point plan to save Britain¬ís high streets. The Save our High Streets campaign calls for the government to take "urgent action to help retailers, protect jobs and give people a real say over their local high street".
The proposals include enacting a temporary cut in VAT and introducing a retail diversity planning clause to give local people a say on any retail plans for their area.
The party is also suggesting that the government creates a ‘competition test’ in the planning system to help ensure a level playing field between small and large shops, and recommends the implementation of Labour’s empty shops initiative to enable councils to pursue innovative uses for empty shops.
Jack Dromey MP, Labour's shadow Local Government minister, said:
“We need to put the heart back into Britain’s high streets. Labour wants to give communities a real say over the future of their high street and the power to make the changes they want.
“One of the things I hear from my constituents is how the character of the local high street has changed. The high street is not what it once was, they say. And I know many other MPs hear the same – we want to put that right."
Chuka Umunna MP, Labour's shadow Small Business and Enterprise minister, said: “A temporary cut in VAT would help consumers and businesses now and would help us get the deficit down.”
Retail guru Mary Portas is currently carrying out a government-backed review aimed at halting the decline of the High Street and will present her findings and recommendations in the autumn.
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