News

ACS Raises Concerns over Auto Enrolment Pension Costs

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Work and Pensions Select Committee into the auto enrolment pension scheme, raising concerns about the impact of the plans on the smallest businesses and their staff.

The auto-enrolment process will see most convenience stores begin to enroll their staff in June 2015. Under the new law all staff must be automatically enrolled in a pension when commencing employment. Under the scheme employers will be required to pay 1% (rising to 3% by 2018) of the employees annual salary into the pension scheme.

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Last chance to book for ACS Heart of the Community 2014

The seventh annual ACS Heart of the Community conference will be taking place on Tuesday 21st October from 12.00pm – 3.30pm.

The conference, held in Westminster, brings retailers from across the country together with MPs and Ministers to discuss important issues facing local shops. 

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Planning Minister Out of Answers on Town Centre First

Planning minister Brandon Lewis MP has admitted that Government does not monitor the effectiveness of planning rules designed to promote investment in town centres.

 

As part of an evidence session conducted by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, the former high streets Minister  told the Committee that town centre first planning rules were a matter for local authorities to deal with as part of their local plans, despite fewer than one in seven actually having plans in place that comply with the NPPF.

 

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Retailers Seek Reassurances on Tobacco Tax Reform

ACS has called on Ministers to provide reassurance about tackling the illegal tobacco trade in face of proposals to introduce a new minimum excise tax for tobacco.

The proposal would seek to ensure that the cheapest tobacco on sale in the retail sector yields a higher tax take per pack. This so called ‘minimum excise tax’ is in place in most EU states and is being proposed following an unexpected decline in tobacco tax revenue in 2013/14.

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Book Now for the Responsible Retailing Forum

ACS’ Responsible Retailing Forum will be taking place on 15thOctober 2014 from 9.30am – 15.30pm.

The Forum, taking place at Wesley Hotel, London, will tackle a variety of responsible retailing issues affecting the local shop worker on a daily basis.

These include developments in alcohol licensing, such as getting and maintaining alcohol licenses in cumulative impact zones, regulating in-store marketing and promotions, and changes to licensing regulations (such as personal licence reform).

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ACS Sets Out Plans for Inclusive Membership

ACS is holding an EGM on 4 December at which it will ask members to vote on changes to its constitution to allow any convenience store operator to become a member of the Association.

ACS Chairman Jonathan James said: “As the market changes, we have found that our current constitution excludes many potential members, including franchises run by major multiples with independent retailers.  The ACS board agreed that these changes are necessary to ensure ACS is a broad-based, inclusive and effective organisation moving forward.

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Great British High Streets Awards Shortlist Announced

Towns and villages around Britain are set to battle it out after making it onto the shortlist for the Great British High Street Awards.

The competition to find Britain’s best high streets is highlighting new and innovative ways to boost high streets and ideas that will be shared with others. It is shining a light on hard working traders and communities around the country and showing what can be done to help shopping streets evolve to be places where people want to shop, socialise and work.

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National Minimum Wage Increase Comes into Force Today

The National Minimum Wage will rise from £6.31 to £6.50 today (October 1st) for employees over the age of 21 (an increase of 3%).

In addition to the change in the adult rate, there are also changes to the youth and development rates of the minimum wage. From today, the 18-20 year old rate will rise from £5.03 to £5.13, the 16-17 rate from £3.72 to £3.79 and the apprentice rate from £2.68 to £2.73.

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