I would like to thank the many constituents, small business owners and their employees who have been in touch with over the past few weeks outlining their concerns about proposals to devolve Sunday Trading to local authorities.
I appreciate that this was an issue of major concern to the many small businesses which operate in Brent and make such a huge contribution to the life and vibrancy of our communities, as well as of course our local economy. My own family owned and operated a small bakery so I know how vital Sunday trade is to the continued survival of a small business.
I believe the current law on Sunday Trading is a great British compromise between big business, small business and consumers and I would like to take the opportunity to reassure everyone that I voted against the Government’s plan to devolve Sunday Trading to local authorities.
I had recently written to Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, outlining my strong opposition to this Bill and calling on him to drop the plan. As I outlined to the Secretary of State there was no clear economic case for changing the law with the last relaxation of Sunday trading rules not resulting in an increase of sales. I also highlighted that any change in the law would result in low and middle earning families having less time to spend together, as well as the threat to jobs with Oxford Economics estimating it would lead to the loss of 6,770 jobs in small businesses up and down the country.
I welcome that we were successful in defeating the Government on this issue, and that they have for the moment dropped their plans. I assure you that should this issue come back to the House of Commons I will continue to oppose it.
Dawn Butler MP
This letter was published in the Brent & Kilburn Times newspaper on 24/03/16 and is available online here.