Labour wades into high street debate

highstreetLabour has put its oar into the “how to fix the high street debate”.

Ed Miliband, Labour leader,  said that he wants to see payday lenders and betting shops that “engulf” people in debt, as well as take-away food chains, banned from the high street.

The Labour leader is speaking out against the way these shops are allowed to open up at the drop of a hat – sometimes next to each other – at the launch of his party’s local election campaign.

He proposes changes to planning laws, allowing councils to refuse permission for certain businesses.

He is expected to say councils should be allowed to prevent shops opening, such as payday lenders and bookmakers, which do not have a community’s backing as he believes in “local solutions to local problems”.

Miliband says that too many councils are finding that they don’t have the real power to stand up for local people. He said that if a bank or store closed down there is currently nothing that can be done to prevent a payday lender or betting shop opening up.

Last year 1,800 leisure, retail and services shops closed in England. Many were replaced by pay day loan shops, which saw a 20 percent increase in openings.