Labour minister makes ‘radical change’ pledge

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Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has revelaed a Labour Party plan to revitalise the nation’s high streets.

Speaking in response to our Love Your Highstreet campaign, Ms Long-Bailey detailed a five-point plan to increase footfall and encourage repeat custom.

The first point would see Labour ban ATM charges and stop the closure of bank branches and Post offices.

She said: “ATM charges are not just annoying, they can hinder people’s ability to spend on our high streets, particularly hitting smaller independent shops which may not be able to afford the infrastructure to process card payments.”

The second point would see a register of landlords, whilst they would also reform the outdated business rates, promising ‘radical reform’.

She said: “Fourthly, we will introduce free public wi-fi in every town centre.

“This will make sure that shoppers on our high streets can stay connected whatever they are doing and will encourage people to spend more time on our high streets, bringing our town centres into the 21st century.”

Figures by the Campaign for Better Transport showed that spending on supported buses fell by 45 per cent between 2010/11 and 2017/18 in Yorkshire alone.

Salford and Eccles MP Ms Bailey-Long said: “Better public transport and free travel for our young people will help revitalise the high streets by allowing shoppers to travel at minimal expense.”