Enterprise Bill: House of Commons rejects Sunday trading plans

Caroline 4On the 9th of March the House of Commons debated the Government’s Enterprise Bill at its Report Stage. Debate focused on proposals to allow Local Authorities in England Wales to deregulate Sunday Trading in their areas. Several amendments were tabled to the bill, including one from David Burrows MP to remove those clauses altogether.

The Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, spoke in the debate and drew attention to a compromise amendment that she had tabled (though not in her capacity as a Church Commissioner). Her amendment was not voted on as the House accepted by 317 to 286 votes the amendment from David Burrowes to remove the clauses on Sunday trading from the bill. 

Her speech in the debate is below and can also be watched here Continue reading “Enterprise Bill: House of Commons rejects Sunday trading plans”

Bishop of Chester asks question on Sunday Trading

On the 14th December Baroness Deech asked the Government “whether they have plans to reform Sunday trading laws.” The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow-up question.

ChesterThe Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, would a useful reform be to go back to the good old days when people were paid double time for working on Sunday; then, shops, in the main, would not want to open? If I introduced a Private Member’s Bill, would the Government support me? Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks question on Sunday Trading”

Bishop of St Albans questions Government on impact of Sunday trading changes on small shops

On 17th September 2015 Lord Naseby asked the Government “what new proposals they have to support independent high street retailers, particularly in the light of the increasing cost of business rates”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop St Albans June 2015The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while I am grateful for the support Her Majesty’s Government are giving to independent retailers, it seems extraordinary that they are doing so at a time when they are talking about deregulating further Sunday trading hours, which many insiders in the industry believe will give huge commercial advantage both to the large supermarkets and to out-of-town shopping centres. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans questions Government on impact of Sunday trading changes on small shops”


Bishop of St AlbansThe Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke on amendment 11 to the Deregulation Bill, which concerned the extension of the liberalisation of Sunday trading laws to garden centres. The Lord Bishop of St Albans spoke out against this amendment, arguing about the importance for human health and wellbeing of protecting the seven day week cycle. He said that if Sunday trading laws were to be liberalised to this effect, it would be a thin-edge-of-the-wedge effect, and so such considerations should be made in a separate bill, rather than this amendment.


Second Church Estates Commissioner urges Government to resist liberalisation of Sunday trading rules

On 19th June 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioners, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, spoke during the weekly debate on the Business of the House. In his brief remarks, he called on the Government to resist amendments to the Deregulation Bill (debated 23rd June) that would deregulate Sunday trading. The Leader of the House of Commons gave assurances that the Government does not support a change in the Sunday trading rules.

14.01 CCQ BaldrySir Tony Baldry (Banbury): Next Monday, the House will debate the Report stage and Third Reading of the Deregulation Bill. My right hon. Friend will have noted that our hon. Friends the Members for Shipley (Philip Davies) and for Bury North (Mr Nuttall) have tabled a number of new clauses which, if passed, would completely deregulate Sunday trading. I must tell my right hon. Friend that any such move by the House would be seen by the Church of England—and, I am sure, by many other faith groups—as an act of bad faith on the part of Parliament. The present Sunday trading arrangements arose from a series of compromises that were agreed in the mid-1990s to strike a balance between keeping Sunday special and enabling more stores and shops to open on Sundays. I should welcome my right hon. Friend’s reassurance that if you, Mr Speaker, select any of the new clauses for debate, they will be resisted by the Government.

Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner urges Government to resist liberalisation of Sunday trading rules”