So, Scotland will be staying with the rest of the UK. Rather than ending the debate on constitutional change, however, the No vote heralds a new wave of changes across the UK, and these are relevant to local shops everywhere.

The ‘devo-max’ proposals for Scotland, the possibility of English issues being addressed only by MPs with English constituencies, and the continued transfer of powers to local authorities, all add up to more decisions that affect you being made at a more local level.

While ‘devo-max’ will bring change in the coming months and years, there is already an established precedent of Scottish retailers having to follow different rules to their English counterparts but further devolution could have an impact on supply chains and other regulatory issues.

There are two things ACS is doing to help you to tackle this changing world.

First, our primary authority scheme (not yet allowed in Scotland, I’m afraid) lets you rely on one interpretation of the law so you can’t be undermined by local enforcement officers with a different view of how to comply on issues such as health & safety or the tobacco display ban.

Second, we want to help you build relationships with councillors, MPs and other decision-makers, so your store is front of mind when decisions are being made. A great way to do this is to send them a constituency card with details of all of the stores and jobs that the convenience sector creates in your specific constituency, all based on data from our Local Shop Report.

For more information on how to get a constituency card, contact on 01252 515001.