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 have been working closely with Usdaw – the trade union that represents shopworkers – and the Co-Op to ensure that we strengthen the law against those who commit violence against shopworkers.
Shoplifting has increased, attacks on shopworkers has risen and the Government need to sort this out. I have applied on four separate occasions for a debate and I will keep doing so.
I asked the Leader of the House of Commons if she would give government time for this debate so we can do right for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in retail and keep them safe.
The rise in retail crime over the past year is truly worrying. Our shopworkers are being put at risk and local shops are facing a the costs associated with it. Since last year, retail crime has increased from a total direct cost of £660 million to just over £700 million. This is money that is being lost due to criminals and stops employers from investing in our communities.
I have been working with the Co-Op and Usdaw – the shopworkers trade union – to raise awareness of the need for a plan to tackle this shocking rise. I asked the Leader of the House if she will give time for a debate on retail crime so that I can hold the UK Government to account for their reckless cuts to policing and security measures in our towns and villages.
No one should have to go to work in fear. I want the Government to combat this head on so we can fulfil our promise to retail staff that they have freedom from fear.