Yesterday Bis (Department for Business Innovation & Skills) and DCLG (Department for Communities & Local Government) launched a 6 weeks consultation on devolving the power to relax Sunday trading restrictions on large stores in England and Wales down to the Local Government level. Our description of the salient points and access to the consultation can be found at:
You might wish to consider responding yourselves and/or to alert business partners and local trade organisations to the consultation, assuming they are not yet aware. I would also welcome your view for inclusion in our corporate response and, in particular, any substantive arguments against relaxation, as I think I already understand many of the pros.
Meanwhile, I am left pondering why, if it is such a good idea, which, it probably is, National Government can’t just bite the bullet and make a single or dual English and Welsh national decision on relaxation? The answer is probably that, however good an idea it may or may not be, it will always be contentious whatever you decide to do, and thus it is probably far easier to let the local politicians take the inevitable flak for the delivery issues, whilst nation politicians can sit back and take the credit for both having the idea and for apparently empowering localism. Not sure if this is being cynical or is insightful, or a bit of both?