Press Releases

Supermarket Levy Would Set Dangerous Precedent

ACS has responded to a call by 20 councils for powers to impose a new levy on supermarkets.

Councils have made this bid for new powers using the procedures laid down in the Sustainable Communities Act 2007. Under the Act Councils can submit requests for changes in national legislation or taxation to the Government, which is legally required to consider the request, although not to agree to it. A similar request made in 2013 was rejected by Ministers.

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Regulatory Policy Committee Raise Key Concerns over Plain Packs Assessment

The Regulatory Policy Committee has published their Opinion on the Impact Assessment for the introduction of plain packaging in the UK, raising a number of concerns about the Department of Health’s analysis of the impact on businesses.

In the document, released today, the RPC has called on the Department of Health to look at the following areas with regard to impact on businesses:

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Justice Minister Pledges Meeting on Protection of Workers Selling Alcohol

Minister of State for Justice, Rt Hon Lord Faulks, has agreed to a meeting to discuss the protection of workers who sell alcohol as part of a debate in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

The debate, which took place last night (21st July), concerned an amendment that would have given extra legal protection to staff who are assaulted whilst selling alcohol by creating a separate summary offence on a worker enforcing the provision of the Licensing Act for the sale of alcohol.

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CLG Select Committee: Town Centres Continue to Suffer from Out of Town Development

ACS has told an influential group of MPs that high streets continue to suffer from the unrelenting stream of out of town developments.

In an evidence session on the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework, ACS Chief Executive James Lowman told the Communities and Local Government Select Committee of the failure of the Government’s ‘town centre first’ policy and the need for change to support high streets.

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Local Shops Herald Town Centre First Commitment by Scottish Public Sector

The Scottish Grocers Federation and ACS have welcomed the call by Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay that urges all public bodies in Scotland to make a commitment to “town centre first” for all their new investment decisions.

Under the principle, public bodies such as councils, the police and the NHS – will be encouraged to invest in such areas, and weigh up the financial pressure of closing down town centre facilities against the benefits of maintaining vibrant, healthy high streets.

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ACS Chief Executive Hails Groundbreaking Assured Advice Scheme

At a conference of business groups and local authorities, ACS Chief Executive James Lowman has heralded the benefits of ACS’ new Primary Authority partnership.

The ‘primary authority’ scheme, one of the first to be established in the country, is a new partnership between Surrey County Council and ACS. The scheme is made possible by a change in the law that came into force on 1 October 2013, with the development of primary authority for trade associations supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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ACS Welcomes Ofgem Energy Market Referral

ACS has welcomed Ofgem’s decision to refer the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority.

The investigation, which is due to commence immediately, will look at the following areas:

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Local Shops Welcome Small Business Bill

Local shops have welcomed the publication of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

Published today by the Department for BIS, the Bill aims to remove barriers to growth for small firms, strengthen the foundations for a sustainable recovery, and create jobs.

Measures proposed in the Bill include:

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