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HIGH COST OF SUNDAY TRADING

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Proposals to allow a limited number of shops to open on Sundays throughout the year and for all stores to trade in ...
Proposals to allow a limited number of shops to open on Sundays throughout the year and for all stores to trade in the run up to Christmas would cost councils in England and Wales an extra £12 million a year, according to research published today.

Research company IPF asked all councils to supply their costings of four Sunday trading reforms due to be selected by MPs, on a free vote, in the next parliamentary session.

The two amendments to existing Sunday trading restrictions - backed by the Keep Sunday Special Campaign and the Retailers for Shops Act Reform - would increase the work of environmental health and trading standards officers, the survey shows.

This would add an extra £12m to the £40.5 billion now spent by councils.

Partial deregulation proposed by the Shopping Hours Reform Council would add an extra £3m-£4m a year, while any costs incurred by total deregulation would be matched by savings, says the report.

On cost grounds, 93% of councils favour complete deregulation and nine out of 10 'take a passive policy stance' to enforcing existing regulations.

But local union and moral opposition to Sunday trading mean many councils do not favour total deregulation.

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