Barbara recently attended a lobby of Parliament organised by the Keep Sunday Special coalition to oppose the Conservative Government’s proposal to devolve Sunday trading regulations.

At the meeting members of Usdaw and convenience store owners talked about how extended opening in large stores would reduce trade for smaller stores. They also talked about how this could lead to more retail staff in larger stores being pressured to work longer hours on Sundays.

This week MPs will vote on an amendment that would allow individual councils in England and Wales to determine Sunday opening hours in their area.

Barbara said:

“Retail staff in Worsley and Eccles South will be very concerned about Tory Government plans to devolve Sunday trading hours to councils and the effects that this will have on family life, local shops and the community.

“The Sunday Trading Act is a good compromise. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; while Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and retail staff can spend some time with their family. I oppose devolving the setting of Sunday trading hours because it will lead undoubtedly to longer opening hours.

“The proposed change could lead to large shops opening for longer, even though they are already trading for up to 150 out of 168 hours a week, so retail workers will have even less time to spend with their families. The change may not help small stores, who are already allowed to open whenever they like, and this change may put some of them out of business.

“I support USDAW’s campaign to keep Sunday Special and I will vote against Tory Government plans to change Sunday trading.”

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