Debate opens up over Sunday shopping times

The centre:mk, Midsummer Place and the Secklow Bridge Market.
The centre:mk, Midsummer Place and the Secklow Bridge Market.

A shake-up of trading laws could mean Milton Keynes shops will be allowed to open for longer on Sundays.

But the announcement in yesterday’s budget that councils will have the power to decide how long shops can stay open has split shoppers’ opinions.

Many Citizen readers argue against changing a long-standing tradition,while others say it will be more convenient for workers.

Reacting to the news, leader of the council, Pete Marland says there should not be one rule for the whole of MK.

He said: “Anything that gives local councils power over communities is a good thing, but we need to look at each neighbourhood separately and devolve power down to parish councils so they can decide what is the right thing to do for their area.

“A lot of people want shops to be open all day every day, but others think that Sundays should be kept special. But we are living in the 21st century aren’t we?”

As it stands, smaller shops are allowed to open all day, but those over 280 sqm must close after six hours. Mr Osborne believes there is a “growing appetite” for Sunday shopping, but that it is down to Britain’s towns and cities to determine their own future.

Tory group leader Edith Bald wants to launch a campaign to find out what people want. She said: “We are very pleased to have this flexibility and look forward to discussions with businesses, and shop workers, to see if there is an opportunity for MK.”

> Would you like Milton Keynes Council to allow its shops to have longer opening hours on Sundays?