Sunday shopping campaigner says ‘no’ to change

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.”

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