Commission move weakens planning

Colin Finch National president, National Federation of Retail Newsagents Sir; The National Federation of Retail Newsagents backs the Early Day Motion from MP Clive Betts calling for the Competition Commission to rescind the planning proposals contained in its provisional findings into the grocery market ('MP in call to keep planning restrictions', The Grocer, 5 January, p7). We are in full support of this motion and we would encourage independent retailers to contact their MPs and ask them to sign it, as well as to lobby Hazel Blears, secretary of state for communities and local government. While the Competition Commission claims the planning system will be simplified, we feel the system is being weakened, allowing big supermarkets to elbow their way further into the market. The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has already responded in full to the Competition Commission but there is nothing more important than all independent retailers making their voice heard.