A significant proportion of convenience retailers are willing to get involved in decisions affecting local policies, according to research seen exclusively by C-Store.

A poll carried out by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) found that 35% of unaffiliated retailers wanted to help shape decisions on local plans, which decide what should be built in communities. The overall figure in favour of getting involved, including retailers from symbol groups, was 28%.

Nearly one in three (30%) overall respondents would be willing to get involved in decisions on local policing policies, while 41% said the same for local alcohol licensing policies - but the figure falls to 27% for unaffiliated retailers.

The research, based on more than 200 phone calls with retailers, also found that 49% of respondents had been in contact with their local police or community support officer over the past year, while 37% had contacted their local trading standards officer. Some 28% had been in touch with their local councillor, but only 16% had contacted their local MP, and 15% their local planning officers.

Respondents had a positive view of their local councillors, council officers and police officers, the study found. Only 18% had a negative view of their local police officer, for example.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Localism means more decisions being made by the councils and community groups that affect members’ businesses. For some retailers getting involved is second nature, and this polling shows a strong level of engagement.

“As localism becomes more entrenched retailers who are not engaged will be at a disadvantage. ACS is committed to helping retailers understand why and how they should get involved.”