08:19AM, Friday 11 March 2016
A relaxation of Sunday trading laws would have been beneficial to both customers and shops in Windsor, according to a property director from one of the town’s leading retailers.
Government plans to give local authorities the opportunity to determine the opening hours for bigger retailers on Sundays were narrowly defeated in a House of Commons vote on Wednesday.
But Aaran Daniel, property director for retail giant Daniel Department Store, said extended Sunday trading hours would have beneficial to shoppers and traders in Windsor.
He said: “Sunday is one of the busiest days in the week and it would certainly be beneficial to the customers and the town if shops were permitted to stay open for longer.”
There were 317 MPs, including 27 Tory rebels, who voted against the proposals, and 286 in favour.
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie told the Express his decision to back the Government’s plans was driven by a desire to give local communities a greater say in decision making.
He said: “The current Sunday trading rules that say shops can open for six hours were established back in 1994, yet today millions of people already choose to shop on Sundays either at their local shops or on the internet.
“Rather than tell shops what to do on Sundays, the Government wanted to give local communities the power to make the choice.”
Cllr Jack Rankin (Con, Castle Without) said that it was ‘regrettable’ the bill had been voted down as he wanted to see the borough given full power to decide whether its town centres should be restricted by Sunday trading laws.
He said: “I believe it is preferable that we can determine locally what kind of town we want to be and what restrictions, if any, we choose to place on Sunday trading.”
But Cllr George Bathurst (Con, Sunninghill and South Ascot), chairman of the Windsor and Eton Town Partnership, said the motion’s failure would allow smaller shop owners to ‘have a day off’ without losing business to bigger stores.
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