As many of you will know, I am a proud member of the Trade Union that represents shopworkers: Usdaw. I am also chair of the Usdaw group of MPs in Parliament. We try to secure debates to ensure that the interests of Usdaw members and shopworkers are constantly being raised in Parliament and to ministers.
This week was no exception. A debate was secured on the future of retail and what the UK Government was doing to support those in this industry. We are two years in from the first announcement on the Government industrial strategy and they still have decided what they will do to support one of the largest private sector employers in the UK. Retail employs over 3million people directly.
I focused my speech on the impact of business rates, the lack of industrial strategy and the importance of working with Trade Unions, like Usdaw, to deliver the change we need.
Every backbench MP can apply to the Backbench Business Committee to secure time for a debate on an issue of our choice.
I used this opportunity to apply for a debate on retail crime and its impact on retail staff and shop owners. Working with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, the British Retail Consortium, the Association of Convenience Stores and Usdaw – the trade union that represents shopworkers – I have been trying to get the law changed. We need tougher laws on those who abuse and harm retail staff and if we are granted this debate it will give us another chance to hold the UK Government to account.
This is an issue that crosses party lines. Our application was supported by both Labour and Conservative backbench MPs and I hope that this demonstrates to the Backbench Business Committee that this is a serious issue that deserves a debate.
I joined the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) – the trade body that represents small and independent retailers – in Parliament today (27 February 2019) to pledge my support to local shops in rural communities.
At the parliamentary event the ACS demonstrated how important rural shops are for our local economy in Wales. There are 16,944 rural convenience stores in the UK and Wales has a higher proportion of rural shops than any other part of mainland UK. Read more “Supporting Local Shops in Rural Communities”
I am calling on small shopkeepers in the constituency to enter the Best Small Shops Competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.
The Best Small Shops Competition is open to any small shop* operating in the UK. The competition is free to enter and all shops who enter will also be promoted to consumers through an online Indie Retail Directory.
Shopkeepers can nominate their businesses until Sunday 9th September via www.bestsmallshops.co.uk. A shortlist of 25 of the most impressive applications will be shortlisted by a panel made up of established representatives from the independent retail industry.
The judges will be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.
The shortlisted small shops will be invited to a Parliamentary Reception on the 13th November 2018 to meet their Member of Parliament and find out who will be crowned the Best Small Shop for 2018.
Retailers in Delyn continue to amaze with their excellent customer service, extraordinary offers and dedication to the towns they operate in. I know that many shops deserve the accolades of winning The Best Small Shop award.
There are also benefits for those who enter the competition straight away. Every business who enters the competition will be displayed on the Indie Retail directory which will help raise customer awareness throughout the UK.
Those who are shortlisted will attend an awards event in parliament later in the year and I hope that I will be able to meet some of our local entrepreneurs in the Palace of Westminster. So, I urge all small shops in Delyn to enter today.