The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has called for tougher action against retail crime and a rethink of the tobacco display ban in its 2011 local shops manifesto, published ahead of May’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.

The manifesto sets out the key policy concerns of local shops, identified through ongoing engagement with retailers, and highlights areas where government can support local shops.

It recommends police raise the importance of retail on their agenda by responding more quickly and consistently to incidents. 

The SGF calls for enforcement of legislation to stop adults proxy purchasing tobacco and banning below-cost selling of alcohol, to end irresponsible selling of alcohol.

Other recommendations include reducing the amount of business regulation by preventing councils from implementing separate licensing regimes, and promoting strong town centres by increasing non-domestic rates for out of town developments.

John Drummond, chief executive of SGF, said: “As we get closer to the election, we have to make sure that the issues facing local shops are at the forecront of the minds of prospective MSPs. 

“There is no doubt that local shops make a vital contribution to the national and local economies.