Control of Sunday trading devolved to councils

Plans are in place to give control of Sunday trading laws over to councils, allowing them to prioritise high streets and city centres.

The devolved powers come as part a series of measures on Sunday trading that will be brought forward in the Enterprise Bill.

The new powers will give councils the ability to ‘zone’ any relaxation on trading to allow high streets and city centres to open longer, with the aim of driving footfall to struggling high streets.

The measures will also include greater freedoms for shop workers, including reducing the notice to ‘opt out’ of working Sundays from three months to one month.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We are a one nation government and we want to see the benefits of economic growth being felt in every corner of the country.

“These new powers are about giving local areas the choice to extend Sunday trading hours to meet the needs of their local businesses and communities. It is local people who will make the decision.

“Extending Sunday trading hours has the potential to help businesses and high streets across the UK better compete as our shopping habits change. The rights of shop workers are key to making these changes work in everyone’s interests. We are protecting those who do not wish to work Sundays, and those who do not want to work more than their normal Sunday working hours.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: "It is right that councils, in consultation with their residents and local businesses, should be given the flexibility to decide how to drive growth and best attract business to their local high street, and this includes the relaxation of Sunday trading laws.”

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