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Is there anyone who really wants Sunday trading for Olympic Games?
11:26am Thursday 10th May 2012 in Letters
THE Government got its way and forced through the Sunday Trading (London Olympic and Paralympics’ Games) Bill as emergency legislation, despite robust opposition from Labour MPs.
This means that all shops in England and Wales are allowed to open all hours for eight Sundays starting on July 22.
So poor was the Government’s case that they had to impose a three-line whip on their MPs.
Opposition to the Bill came from many quarters.
Around 80% of shop workers are opposed and small retailers are opposed, because Sunday is the one day of the week when they have a competitive edge over their larger rivals.
Even larger retailers such as Sainsbury and the Co-op are against it.
You would assume that the Government would have listened and quietly dropped this proposal or any well informed MP would have voted against it.
A very vocal opponent is the father of the Crewe & Nantwich MP. John Timpson who recently wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “Consumers don’t have any more money to spend simply because we are hosting the Olympiad.
“Foreign visitors may flash some extra cash in shops close to the venues, but the rest of UK high streets will be deserted. It costs more to keep open longer and an unwarranted increase in operating expenses that would not be welcome.”
Unfortunately this combined opposition to the Olympic Sunday Trading Bill was not enough to persuade the Crewe and Nantwich MP to ignore the demands of his party whips and troop through the lobby to vote against the best interests of his constituents.
I wrote to the MP before the vote, as did many shop workers from Crewe and Nantwich, but none of us received a response.
I wonder if he has explained himself to his father yet.
DAVID WILLIAMS Crewe