The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for more ambition from the government in delivering the recommendations to save the high street set out in the Portas Review.
In its submission to the UK Retail Sector Inquiry, undertaken by the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, the ACS has highlighted the areas of rising business rates, planning policies and parking charges for the government to take action on.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Business rates continue to punish high street retailers even though more and more are closing down; strong national planning rules are not stopping enough investment slipping away from centres and parking policies continue to be about revenue raising rather than creating access and footfall in our centres.”
Lowman praised the work already done but urged for more action. “Nearly 18 months ago the government was given 28 recommendations by Mary Portas as part of her High Streets Review,” he said. “They have made substantial progress but only in a limited number of areas, mostly related to funding and encouraging local initiatives such as town teams.
“Government needs to do more to grip the policy challenges Portas set out. We urge MPs to reinforce the message that the retail sector will only thrive if there is a co-ordinated committed action across government.”