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Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

Future of Small Shops

I take pleasure in presenting a petition on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses in my constituency, which was brought to me by members of the “Don’t Let Dunstable Die” group.

The petition states:

The Petition of members of the Federation of Small Businesses and others,

Declares that the House of Commons All-Party Small Shops Group estimates that there will be no independent retailers by 2015; declares that this equates to the loss of 50,000 small businesses; declares that the petitioners believe that small shops are struggling to survive because of local, regional and national government policies, together with the failure of the competition authorities to deal with the aggressive policies of the supermarkets.

Further declares that the loss of the UK’s Independent retailers has far-reaching socio-economic and environmental implications for the whole community; further declares that superstores and small independent shops should not be considered as two separate markets.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to take steps to secure the future of small shops across the UK and to safeguard the choice and competition that people expect on the market place; to create an independent regulator to ensure that local retail planning decisions do not have a negative effect on the interests of the local community; and to prohibit unfair pricing advantages such as below cost selling.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.


Equitable Life (Portsmouth South)

I present this petition to the House on behalf of a number of my constituents—all affected in one way or another by the Equitable Life assurance society fiasco—headed by Mr. Colin Rivington. They remain loyal subjects of the Queen and petition this Parliament to take action on their behalf.

The petitions states:

“The Petition of the residents of the constituency of Portsmouth South,

Declares that the Petitioners either are or they represent or support members, former members or personal representatives of deceased members of the Equitable Life Assurance Society who have suffered maladministration leading to injustice, as found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report upon Equitable Life, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2008 and bearing reference number HC 815; and further declares that the Petitioners or those whom they represent or support have suffered regulatory failure on the part of the public bodies responsible from the year 1992 onwards, but have not received compensation for the resulting losses and outrage.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to uphold the constitutional standing of the Parliamentary Ombudsman by complying in full with the findings and recommendations of her Report upon Equitable Life.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.