Calls for longer Sunday trading

Fylde MP Mark Menzies led calls for the relaxed trading hours legislation during the Olympics and Paralympics
Fylde MP Mark Menzies led calls for the relaxed trading hours legislation during the Olympics and Paralympics
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SHOULD the Olympic legacy stretch to retail as well as sport?

Calls are being made for Sunday trading hours to continue to be relaxed, following the changing of trading legislation during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies was involved in trading legislation being relaxed for the Olympics back in March but said he has “no desire” to continue that after the event.

But local business groups and members from the Institute of Directors (IoD), have called for longer opening hours to continue to help out businesses and boost employment.

Martin Hunns, vice chair of Cleveley’s Traders Association, said: “I’m all for it, I think it should be relaxed. If people want to open then let them.”

The calls have been led by Mark Wallace, from the IoD, who said retailers should be given an “opportunity to compete as much as they can”.

Mr Wallace said that while internet retailers are able to trade at all hours shops should also be able to open when they wish.

Mr Hunns, who owns the Carousel Diner on Kings Road, added: “My store is open every day, Sunday is our best day.

“If more stores are open it benefits everyone, there are more people milling around.”

Mark Yates, who runs Brooks Collectables on Blackpool Promenade and is a member of the South Shore Business Forum, said: “Trading laws should definitely be relaxed.

“Society is more 24 hour now, people crave convenience and they want the shops to be open when they want to go.

“As a small retailer, at the moment you need as many things in your favour as you can and a few extra hours on a Sunday are going to help the little guy.”

Mr Menzies said that while he recognises the importance of Sunday trading laws to small shops in Fylde, it remains a temporary measure.

He said: “There is a sunset clause in the bill which means that once the Olympic and Paralympics period finishes it ceases to be law.

“The legislation expires and goes off the statue book in September following the end of the Paralympics so it is something of a moot point.

“However, I recognise the importance of Sunday trading laws to small shops in Fylde.”