Napoleon once mocked England as a nation of shopkeepers. I prefer to see shopkeepers and shopworkers as pillars of our community and I’m spending part of the summer recess campaigning for some of their causes.
Shop theft remains one of the biggest challenges to local shops and their staff, costing shops in Tynemouth more than £117,000 last year. I’m working with the Association of Convenience Stores, backing their call to tackle the root causes of shop theft and pressing for a better response from the police. Shop theft is not a victimless crime and it won’t be tackled with the current Home Office’s laissez-faire approach to policing. Times are hard for many people but as well as being tough on the causes of crime we also need to be tough on crime itself.
I am also backing the shopworkers union, USDAW’s campaign to amend the Civil Liability Bill. The Government proposes doubling the small claims limit for victims of workplace accidents. It may prevent many genuine accident victims from claiming compensation and will cost the NHS more. The Government claim insurance companies will benefit but they don’t have a record of passing on savings to customers.
Some shops are facing tough challenges but retail can provide rewarding job opportunities. For anyone looking for employment there is going to be a jobs fair for Recruit Silverlink to be held on 12th September between 10am and 2pm at the Odeon Cinema.