High streets and town centres in 2030

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee is a cross-party group of MPs who oversee the work of the Department for Local Government. They are currently conducting an inquiry on “High streets and town centres in 2030”.  This inquiry is designed to “examine the future role of the high street in contributing to the local economy and the health, cohesion and cultural life of the local community and the challenges faced amid changing demographic, technological and other trends in recent decades.”

You can read more about it here.

Organisations who wish to make a submission to this inquiry have until this Friday – 22 June – to get their thoughts in.

We believe that charity shops should be recognised as a key part of a healthy high street mix. In fact, charity shops play a key role in helping high streets to thrive in the first place. Charity shops help to reduce vacancy rates and therefore keep the high street populated and busy, even during times of a severe economic downturn.

As the voice of the sector, we therefore made a submission to the investigation demonstrating how charity shops are a net benefit for high streets economically, environmentally and socially.  Building on this evidence we made recommendations for policies which could help protect this role in areas such as charitable rate relief, volunteer signposting and house-to-house collections.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association said: “Charity retail is not a demanding sector in terms of its asks of government. On the whole we go about our business quietly, efficiently and profitably.  This business provides clear benefits to high streets across the country as a result.

“What we do ask, however, is that our vital role is formally recognised in word and deed, our beneficial tax regime is preserved and maybe even increased, and that those seeking to help the high street survive and thrive welcome us as partners.

“This submission makes this position very clear and I look forward to working with the committee to implement some of the ideas contained within it.”

You can read the submission in full – and all of our other consultation responses – on the dedicated page of our members website.