Olympic spirit could boost business

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SUNDAY trading legislation must be amended in order to respond to the challenge set by the London Olympics 2012 and other major events.

That’s the verdict of Mark Menzies MP who tabled a Ten Minute Rule Bill which aims to allow temporary relaxations of Sunday trading regulations for the duration of the Olympic Games without compromising the stature of Sunday as a family day.

Britain has shown that it can meet the big challenges; now it is time to focus on the detail, Mr Menzies said.

He believes that giving local authorities the power to amend Sunday trading legislation for special, one-off events can help traders in Fylde and the North West through a difficult period as well as boosting the Games.

“Organising the Olympic Games costs us billions of pounds,” he said. 

“We owe it to our citizens to make sure we maximise the economic benefits for the whole nation by boosting the economy, creating jobs, and increasing the disposable income of consumers.

“Allowing all shops to stay open later on Sundays has these advantages whilst making the big events more convenient for tourists.”

With the retail sector growing fast in London, it is vital that the Government helps shops cope with increased demand.

The Games will bring hundreds of thousands of tourists, journalists, and foreign leaders into the UK; and we need to show that our country is able to accommodate their demands and display that our country is welcoming and accommodating to the demands of these many visitors.

He added: “The 2012 Olympic Games will generate the largest amount of tourism Britain has ever seen.

“We need to ensure we have considered all of the challenges we may face. Above all, it is vital we display that Britain is open for business.”

This is not a massive overhaul of the existing Sunday trading legislation.

The Amendment will allow a temporary relaxation of shopping hours during major events.

It is an important tweak to the 1994 Sunday Trading Act now in order to ensure that Britain gets the best returns from the substantial investment we have made for the Olympics.

Mr Menzies has already suggested that discretion could be applied to special events all over the North West such as Blackpool’s Armed Forces week, Tram Sunday in Fleetwood, Lytham Proms and even the upcoming Preston Guild.

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