St Albans MP Anne Main sees bright future for markets
MARKETS face a reasonably optimistic future according to a government select committee report spearheaded by St Albans MP Anne Main. She called for the report, Market Failure? Can the Traditional Market Survive? because of her concerns about the future of
MARKETS face a reasonably optimistic future according to a government select committee report spearheaded by St Albans MP Anne Main.
She called for the report, Market Failure? Can the Traditional Market Survive? because of her concerns about the future of retail markets and the extent to which local and central government was protecting them.
Mrs Main said: "Here in St Albans we have a fabulous, historic market which is a unique selling point in our area. It draws in visitors from miles around, supporting other retail units by encouraging shoppers to come to our city.
"Nationally, however, I know the big supermarkets have been lobbying the Government hard over retail needs tests, spending small fortunes on advertising, and potentially drawing the lifeblood out of thriving markets.
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"I was concerned this shouldn't happen in St Albans which is why I suggested to the communities and local government select committee that we should examine markets as a formal inquiry. Our evidence underlined my concerns and I hope that as a result of this report a more positive future now beckons for markets across the country."
Mrs Main said that while the report made it clear that overall, some of the smaller markets had definitely been declining for years, on the whole the future was reasonably optimistic.
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She explained that the key criticisms at local level generally were a lack of investment, a lack of consultation, particularly with regard to planning decision which could take away trade, a lack of promotion in the face of vigorous advertising by major stores and a lack of focus on the role of market manager and the responsibilities for markets within many councils across the country.