ACS Calls for Low Pay Commission to Regain Independence over Future Wage Recommendations

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Low Pay Commission’s consultation on the future rates of the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, calling on the Commission to take into consideration the impact of wage hikes on local shops.

In the submission, ACS raises concerns about the target that the Low Pay Commission was set by the former Chancellor George Osborne of raising the National Living Wage to 60% of median earnings by 2020, calling for the Commission to have its independence in considering future wage rates reinstated.

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ACS Responds to Review on Access to Banking

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the independent review of the Access to Banking Protocol, which details how banks should ensure sufficient access to banking services following the closure of branches. This year-on review of the Protocol will consider the way banks have applied it in practice, and the extent to which pre-closure assessment, community engagement and local impact assessments have informed the identification of suitable alternative ways to bank.

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Information for Retailers on New Polymer Banknotes

Ahead of the new £5 polymer note entering circulation on 13 September 2016, the Bank of England has provided training materials to help retailers identify the new security features on the £5 polymer bank note. The new note will be smaller than the current £5 note, and printed on polymer, which is a thin flexible plastic material. Polymer notes last longer and stay cleaner.

The notes will also have advanced security features that make them more difficult to counterfeit. Retailers are being advised to check for the multiple security features within the new banknotes:

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Book Your Place at the 2016 Local Shop Report Launch

Tickets are now available for the 2016 Local Shop Report launch, taking place on 7th September at Hotel Football in Manchester. The Local Shop Report is ACS’ flagship research project, bringing together information from trusted sources in the convenience sector with brand new information about the people running stores.

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Information for Retailers: Allergens in Food

The following information features in ACS’ Assured Advice guide on managing food safety and hygiene. More information about Assured Advice and how to sign up to the scheme is available in the Advice section of the ACS website.

Retailers who provide a food to go service for customers must protect those customers that suffer from allergic reactions to food. There are 14 allergens covered by the law – they are:

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ACS Encourages Retailers to Join CAPs

The successful Community Alcohol Partnerships scheme is to be launched in around 30 new areas in the next 12 months, taking the total number of CAPs in the UK to over 130 by the end of this year.

Retailer engagement in CAPs involves meeting with local police, schools, other retailers as well as wider stakeholders, and working together to promote responsible retailing, tackle proxy purchasing, start diversionary activities for young people and use confiscation powers and other means to tackle underage drinking.

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ACS Welcomes VCA to Club Membership

Video analytics solutions provider VCA Technology has reinforced its commitment to convenience retailing in the UK, by becoming a Club member of the Association of Convenience Stores.

The move follows the company’s recent appointment of Andy Frost as Retail Sales Manager - Europe

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ACS Sets out Concerns over Future Wage Rises to Low Pay Commission

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has presented evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the impact of the National Living Wage, urging the Commission to consider how sustainable the Government target of 60% of median earnings by 2020 is.

Responses from the 2016 ACS National Living Wage survey have shown that retailers are likely to face negative consequences in their business if wage rates continue on their planned trajectory to 2020:

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Business Organisations Call on Chancellor to Act on Rate Reforms

A group of organisations representing over 100,000 shops and other businesses has called on the government to focus on reducing the burden of business rates instead of further cuts in corporation tax.

In the letter to Chancellor George Osborne, groups representing businesses ranging from pubs and bars to convenience stores and large retailers have highlighted that the cost of business rates remains too high, and that the further cuts in corporation tax do not go far enough to help businesses stay competitive.

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ACS Welcomes More Transparent Approach to Business Rates Appeals

The Department for Communities and Local Government have published their response to a consultation on reforming the business rates system, making recommendations for a more transparent, streamlined appeals process.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are pleased that the Government have listened to our concerns about delivering a more transparent rating system in order to resolve retailers’ rating appeals as early as possible.  We welcome that Government has also dedicated resource to support the smallest businesses get fast tracked through the rating system.”

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