Vote Now for the Winners of the Great British High Streets Competition

The 21 finalists for the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Great British High Streets Competition have now been announced across the competition’s seven categories.

The finalists now have the opportunity to impress an expert judging panel and battle it out in the public vote to be crowned Britain’s best. Winners in each category will receive expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce for 100 of their high street’s shops, bars and restaurants.

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Camelot Launches New-Look for Lotto

National Lottery operator, Camelot, have announced changes to their flagship Lotto game which will launch tomorrow, Saturday 10 October, with 25 guaranteed millionaire winners.

Tickets for the new Lotto game for consumers went on sale yesterday and Lotto retailers will have received a Lotto launch kit – including PlayStation POS, window posters, leaflets, counter wraps, foil balloons, bunting, and new Lotto and Lotto HotPicks play slips.

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Chief Executive's Blog: Business Rates Revolution, or Changes at the Margins?

We heard about George Osborne’s promise to devolve business rates to local authorities while waiting to start our fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference, just yards from where the Chancellor was speaking. This looked like another Osborne bombshell, hot on the heels of his planned devolution of Sunday trading and announcement of a national living wage of over £9 by 2020.

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Less Than a Week to Go! Book for ACS Heart of the Community 2015

ACS’ unmissable political event, Heart of the Community 2015, will be taking place on the 13th October and offers you unrivalled access to key MPs and Ministers.

ACS’ Heart of the Community is the best opportunity for you to raise your concerns with Parliamentarians about key issues currently affecting the sector, including Sunday trading reform and the introduction of the National Living Wage, and the impact these policies will have on your store.

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ACS Welcomes Sentencing Council’s New Guidelines for Shop Theft Offences

ACS has welcomed the Sentencing Council’s new sentencing guidelines for shop theft which emphasise the emotional distress, property damage and the effect on the business when sanctioning offenders.

The guidelines, used by judges and magistrates to decide the appropriate sentence for a criminal offence, introduces a new approach to assessing the harm of shop theft to take into account the wider impact the crime has on its victims.

However, ACS raises concerns that the guidelines do not include a separate assessment for repeat offenders.

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ACS Warns of Potential Impact of Locally Set Business Rates

ACS has responded to the chancellor’s announcement on locally set business rates, raising concerns that rates could rise for local businesses.

In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today, the chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that he will “abolish” the current system of business rates and replace it with a system which allows local authorities to set business rates themselves.

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Carrier Bag Charge to Apply in Large Businesses from Today

From the 5th October all businesses with 250 or more employees will be required to charge 5p for each single-use carrier bag they provide their customers with in England.

Retailers who have less than 250 full time or equivalent employees across their business/es are not required to charge for carrier bags. Convenience retailers who are members of a symbol group or franchise model only need to count the employees in the businesses/stores that they own and run.

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ACS Concerned By Institute of Licensing Proposals On Licensing Conditions

In response to the Institute of Licensing consultation on template licensing conditions ACS has raised concerns that the proposal are unworkable.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman said: “Effective licencing conditions must be based on local evidence and tailored to each premise.  Template licensing condition, as proposed in the consultation, is likely to result in blanket condition that are not relevant to individual local shops – we urge the Institute of Licensing to reconsider publishing this guidance.”

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Minimum Wage Increases to £6.70 from Today

From today, 1st October 2015, the National Minimum Wage rate rises by 20p to £6.70 per hour for employees over the age of 21 – an above inflation increase of 3%.

Additionally, the hourly rate for 18-20 year old employees rises by 17p to £5.30 and for under 18s, the rate has increased by 8p to £3.87.

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