Gordon has backed the views of Usdaw, who have described the Government’s case for changes to Sunday shopping laws as “confused and contradictory”.
The comments come after Usdaw staff met with Government officials from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, as part of the ongoing consultation on the changes, with a view at devolving Sunday trading regulations to local authorities like in Blackpool.
Gordon said: “In places like Blackpool, councils can play an important role in helping to support small businesses and shops. However it has to be done with a clear plan from central government and I agree with the comments from Usdaw, that at present, the proposals for Sunday shopping are both confused and contradictory.
“Blackpool has lots of interesting and successful niche shops and the Government needs to think carefully about any changes to Sunday trading regulations so businesses like these are not affected in potentially a negative way.”
John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary added: “We have long been concerned that the extra costs of opening shops for longer would be borne by reduced pay for staff. Retailers will not be looking to increase their wage bill when there is no evidence that longer opening hours will increase customer spend.
“However the Government is also suggesting that local authorities can create zones for longer Sunday trading that could exclude out of town supermarkets. Not only would this create chaos in the retail sector, and possibly lead to legal challenges against councils, but it is difficult to see how the £1.4 billion figure stands up when supermarkets are zoned out of extended Sunday trading.
“The current Sunday trading regulations are a great British compromise that gives everyone a little of what they want. The changes that the Government is consulting on offer only chaos, confusion and contradiction.”