Wednesday, November 26, 2014

News: MP disappointed at Government's lack of action for town's traders

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Traders in Rotherham town centre are on the verge of going out of business as a result of the number of marches and demonstrations taking place in the same areas and on key shopping days.

With repeated marches by the likes of the English Defence League (EDL) resulting in significant parts of the town closing everytime, and the shops that remain open not trading well, Rotherham retailers started a petition based on their rights to trade, asking the Government to change legislation so that economic impact, and other factors other than public safety, are taken into account so that marches can be banned, relocated, or re-timed.

Rotherham MP, Sarah Champion raised the issue in the House of Commons, asking the Government for increased policing powers to prevent marches when they are seen to continually target a particular area, and for additional support to be directed to businesses that were suffering as a result in Rotherham.

The Government response to the written questions suggests that the it has no plans to bring legislation on the policing powers relating to restricting the marches, and the response received from the Business Minister only offered a standard response relating to business services available to any businesses, with no specific reference to Rotherham businesses or Sarah's plea to provide additional support.

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Sarah Champion MP, said: "I am angry that the Government aren't taking these concerns on board. Small business owners are seriously affected by the repeated targeting of our town by the EDL. Traders are telling me that they are on the verge of going out of business, because they haven't been able to recover lost earnings. This is a serious issue and not one that the government should ignore.

"I will be holding a meeting with small business owners this week to find out how they would like me to progress. I don't think this is an issue we should drop, as people's livelihoods are affected. I will carry on working with Rotherham's independent traders until we get some kind of resolution."

Images: Courtesy of chrisfp on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence

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