The Co-operative Group has called for the government to launch a “full review” of its Portas Pilots programme after the rows it has sparked between local councils, residents and traders.

In its submission to the forthcoming Business, Innovation and Skills select committee inquiry, The Co-op blamed a “lack of coherent joint working” between politicians and town teams. It is “lead retailer” in three of the pilot towns, including Liskeard, Cornwall, the focus of a bust-up between the town team and local councillors that will feature in the final Mary Queen of the High Street on C4 next week.

“Elected councils can sometimes be concerned that responsibilities usually held by a local authority are devolved to unelected town teams,” said the submission.

Emails revealed under the Freedom of Information Act show Portas’ team felt the fallout made good entertainment. “In TV terms, the fight between the bureaucrats and the citizens could be great,” said one.

This week, former members of Margate town team complained to Ofcom about Portas. 

For full responses to the BIS comittee inquiry, please click here