Combating restrictive practices in the Post Office and news sectors are two challenges the new Association of Convenience Stores chief executive has set himself. David Rae, who takes over as chief executive from Trevor Dixon on November 1, warned publishers and newspaper wholesalers that practices needed to change. Referring to the newstrade Rae said: "I have been amazed by the problems. I have never seen such infighting." Rae said ACS's Association of News Retailing was giving members strong representation at cross industry negotiations. He said retailers had been "incensed" by the decision to impose carriage charge increases: "Retailers have to deal with the wholesaler allotted by the publishers. But stores will consider strong action against the charges." However he added: "ACS is not an organisation that would organise action." Rae said many retailers whose stores included a sub post office were hampered by the Post Office's inflexible attitude. He said progressive retailers were penalised by contracts on the national lottery, where the Post Office deducts 20% of commission, and ATMs, where it insists retailers can only use its preferred supplier. Although ACS represents about 30% of subpostmasters, Rae said the Post Office would only negotiate with the National Federation of Sub Postmasters. He had already held exploratory talks with the NFSP about the issues. Rae said he was also aiming to make ACS more relevant to independents in a bid to recruit more as members. He said: "Independent members' needs are different to larger members' needs. We must develop programmes to meet those needs. What worries them the most is someone coming along and telling them they are not doing something they should." He said the ACS could help with developments such as documentation to be used by retailers to prove due diligence. {{NEWS }}