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.