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Jack Dromey MP, Labour’s Shadow Local Government Minister, has today called on the Government to give local people a greater say over what happens on their local high street.

Labour has tabled a new clause to the planning section of the Localism Bill, which will be debated in the Commons today, which would put communities in control of the development of their local high streets.

The new clause on retail diversity will:

  • Ensure that every community will have their say in developing a strategy for retail growth in their area.
  • Promote town centre retailing over out of town development.
  • Promote diversity of retail provision including a balance between large and small stores, specialists, chains and discounters.
  • Protect small traders from retail giants driving local shops out of business.

Jack Dromey said:

“We need to put the heart back into Britain’s high streets. Labour wants to give communities a real say over the future of their high street and the power to make the changes they want enshrined in law.

"One of the things I hear from my constituents is how the character of the local high street has changed. The high street is not what it once was, they say. And I know many other MPs hear the same – we want to put that right.

"The Government’s Planning Minister, Greg Clark, has said that he wants to give communities real power over their local area and will look to strengthen the role of our high streets in our towns and cities. If the Government means what it says, then it should accept our changes to the Localism Bill and give local people a real say over their high street.

"Healthy and diverse high streets are the heart of local communities. High streets and neighbourhood shopping parades are the engine room of thriving communities and local economies. Labour wants to rebuild a great British institution, the high street."

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