Following the promotion of Stephen Hammons to Health Minister in November 2018, Selly Oak MP Steven McCabe has kindly stepped in to Chair the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail Crime. In this article for Fed, the newspaper of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, he explains where he hopes to take the group in the next year.
The House of Commons’ Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s report into the future of high streets and town centres, comes as welcome news to independent retailers. With recommendations for rates reform, based on the suggestions put forward by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) and increased investment in town centres, business owners will be comforted to know that retail is still prominent in the vision for the future.
Further to a top level industry summit on retail crime in London last month that was attended by the NFRN and other stakeholders, Crime Minister Victoria Atkins attended the APPG on retail crime to engage with a number of cross party MPs to discuss implementation of her plans.
This week, independent retailing champion Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP took bira’s proposal for a £12,000 allowance for small businesses, instead of the current threshold to the House of Commons for an Adjournment Debate answered by Mel Stride MP – the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General.
bira asked MPs to consider changing the current £12,000 threshold to an allowance, as a much-needed short-term solution. It is bira’s belief that an allowance would help the majority of small retail businesses and make the difference between closing or surviving in 2018 and beyond.
The NFRN Conference opened on 11thJune 2018 in Torquay, with Kevin Foster MP taking the platform to ensure that delegates knew they had his support and that he understood the pressures that were currently hitting the high street, for example retail crime. He told the 250 attendees that he knew smaller retailers on the frontline needed extra protection and faster response times from police in order to reverse the worrying increase in retail crime.
Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the UK Parliament Transport Select Committee, met with rail sector suppliers today in Derby to discuss rail funding and Brexit related issues. At a roundtable meeting specially organised by the Railway Industry Association, the trade body for UK railway suppliers, she urged rail companies to submit evidences by the deadline of 18 December, ahead of the Committee’s Inquiry into rail infrastructure investment.
bira met with Jimmy McLoughlin, who was previous deputy head of policy and head of external relations at the IoD before he moved to his special adviser role at number 10. This allowed bira to discuss the nub of the high street problems with the business relations specialist.