Council leaders support Sunday trading proposal

Over 100 council leaders in England have backed the government’s plans to devolve powers regarding Sunday trading hours, enabling councillors to decide the opening hours of their area.

The news comes ahead of a fundamental Commons vote on the plans, with government officials maintaining councils would be ‘best placed’ to decide on the issue in the interest of their communities.

Current regulations direct that small shops in England and Wales can remain open for as long as they please on Sundays, however, larger stores are restricted to six hours between 10:00 and 18:00, with retailers facing fines of up to £50,000 if they exceed the limit.

A number of Labour MPs, including the Scottish National Party (SNP) have opposed the new plans and have urged the government to ‘drop these pernicious plans’.

In a letter to the government, 103 councillors urged the government to ‘continue with proposals to localise these decisions and help us deliver what is best for our local communities".

It said: “We want the government to put its trust in councils. We are best placed to make decisions about Sunday trading.”