The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has published its Local Shops Manifesto 2011 ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament Elections. The manifesto sets out the key policy concerns of local shops, identified through on-going engagement with retailers, and highlights areas where Government can support the local shop.
Commenting, John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said:
“As we get closer to the election, we have to make sure that the issues facing local shops are at the forefront of the minds of prospective MSPs. The SGF’s strong member-led policy development, supported by the team at SGF, means we have produced a manifesto which makes practical proposals.
“There is no doubt that local shops make a vital contribution to the national and local economies. Local shops also provide a valued service at the heart of communities and share a unique relationship with customers, trading as we do in neighbourhoods, high streets and towns across Scotland.
“Throughout the election campaign we will be asking candidates for their support in recognising the contribution that local shops make to communities and the economy.”
SGF policy recommendations from the manifesto include:
- Tougher action against retail crime by recommending police raise the importance of retail crime on their agenda by responding more quickly and consistently to retail crime
- Reduce the amount of business regulation by preventing local authorities implementing separate licensing regimes to reach the same policy objective
- Rethink the tobacco display ban and support enforcement of legislation to stop adults proxy purchasing tobacco
- An end to the irresponsible selling of alcohol by banning below cost selling of alcohol
- Promote strong town centres by increasing non-domestic rates for out of town developments with a redistribution of the revenue raised to encourage vibrant town centres
- Support retailers on the front line of preventing underage sales by introducing and applying tougher prosecution and sentencing guidelines in relation to assaults on retail workers
- Continue to support the long term future of the SGF Healthy Living Programme