Mixed response in Hartlepool over plans for Sunday trading

Councillor Kevin Cranney.
Councillor Kevin Cranney.

Government plans to allow councils to decide on Sunday opening hours for larger stores has been met with a mixed response.

Chancellor George Osborne was expected to unveil the proposal when he delivers his first all-Conservative Budget today, giving elected mayors and councils the freedom locally to relax laws which prevent larger stores opening their doors for more than six hours on Sundays.

The news was met with a mixed response from Mail readers, with some agreeing that longer Sunday opening was a good thing, while others panned the idea.

Barbie Close wrote on the Mail’s Facebook page: “Ironic budget plans to open shops for longer hours yet slashing benefits etc so we can’t afford to shop anyway lol.”

Julie Rutherford wrote: “Think it’s a great idea, more hours for staff means more jobs, and why shouldn’t they cut benefits, especially to people who don’t need it.”

Judith Hindmarsh disagreed adding: “Keep Sunday Special! Families need time off together.”

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of the Regeneration Services Committee at Hartlepool Borough Council, also responded saying: “I understand the budget proposal will be to give councils powers to relax Sunday trading laws locally if they believe it might boost economic activity. Many people attend places of worship on a Sunday and for lots of people working in the retail industry it is the only day they can spend time with family and friends. There will be many different opinions and I believe it would be important to carry out a consultation to seek views of local residents, Hartlepool Economic Forum and the town’s business community to ascertain if extended Sunday hours would be beneficial to Hartlepool.”

Research shows that two extra hours in London alone would create 3,000 jobs and generate over £200million a year in additional sales.