An MEP who campaigned for changes to the Sunday trading laws in the 1990s will be opposing Government plans to relax them further.
Chris Davies, then an MP for Littleborough & Saddleworth and now our area’s Liberal Democrat MEP, was formerly the northern regional organiser for the Shopping Hours Reform Council. He says that a balance was struck that offends few people, pleases most, and should not be changed now. He said: “The 1950 Shops Act imposed ridiculous restrictions on shops. You could buy ‘Playboy’ on a Sunday but not a bible. No big stores were allowed to open.
“The balance we struck ensured that shopping everywhere and for everything could take place for up to 6 hours a day. But we provided employment protection for shop workers who objected to Sunday working, and gave extra freedom for small shops.
“Whether you are religious or not, most people like having a rhythm in their lives and the current arrangements for Sunday shopping provide that very well indeed.”