Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson backs call to safeguard the Grea

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has backed a call by the Association of Convenience Stores for MPs to stop the decline of the Great British high street.

The ACS issued a rallying call to MPs to stop the ongoing crisis on the high street and secure the future of the region's independent shops.

The call comes as new figures show a stark increase in vacancy rates in high streets across the country.

In Local Data Company statistics published today, the North West was revealed to be one of the worst affected areas in the country with around one in five shops empty on its high streets.

Former small business owner Bill Esterson has already called for more to be done to safeguard local shopping areas throughout Sefton Central.

Bill sai
d: "Because of my previous involvement in a small business I know only too well how difficult it can be to compete against the national chains.

"That is why I am happy to back the ACS's call to save the high street.

"Small local businesses are having a hard time of it at the moment and many have gone to the wall. That's why we do see empty stores in our town centres.

"I have called for people in each of our communities in Sefton Central to support our local shops and I think the local authority should do more to promote our local high streets in Maghull, Crosby and Formby, as well as the smaller shopping areas in our smaller communities like Melling, Lydiate and Thornton.

"But I know that the cuts which Sefton is facing because of the Tory and Lib Dems will leave very little for marketing the borough's facilities."

Bill said the success of small businesses is crucial in the success of the economy.

He said: "The UK economy is driven by small businesses. They make up 99% of all UK businesses and they are the engine for growth and job creation.

"Our town centre high streets face extinction and no-one wants this to happen. The ACS's call seeks to stem the tide of business closures, reverse the trend and defend the choice and diversity that customers deserve while safeguarding hundreds and thousands of jobs right here in Sefton."

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