The Rural Shops Alliance has promoted Kenneth Parsons to the position of chief executive, replacing Sean Carter, who is retiring at the end of


Parsons joined the RSA in June 2006 as regional county co-ordinator for the West Midlands and the south west. He is currently leading the group's retail development programme, which was set up following the government's announcement in May that 2,500 Post Offices were to close.

The RSA was set up in April 2001 and represents 7,200 independent retail members. Parsons said he intended to build the RSA's reputation as a key force in supporting rural retailers.