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Cross Party Group on Small Shops

About the CPGSS

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops (CPGSS) was set up by a cross party group of Assembly Members to raise awareness in the Welsh Assembly of a broad range of issues of concern to small shopkeepers, such as business rates, planning reform and retail crime. The group also looks at the vital social and economic role played by small shops in the community.

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops provides opportunities for Assembly Members to register their interest in small shop issues and learn more about the work that small shops do and the public policy challenges they face.
The CPGSS is chaired by Janet Finch-Saunders, AM for Aberconwy. Janet is responsible for overseeing the direction and topics that the group covers and was appointed Chair of the group in 2013.

The current officers of the group are:

Chair: Janet Finch-Saunders AM (Conservative, Aberconwy)
Deputy Chair: Vikki Howells AM (Labour, Cynon Valley)
Member: Mark Isherwood AM (Conservative, North Wales)
Member: Huw Irranca-Davies AM (Labour, Ogmore)
Member: Michelle Brown AM (UKIP, North Wales)
Member: David Rowlands AM (UKIP, South Wales East)

The CPGSS is registered with the National Assembly for Wales. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) provide the secretariat services for the CPGSS on behalf of The Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC). The IRC is an umbrella group of trade associations with common interests in the independent retail sector.

Contact: Steve Dowling, ACS Public Affairs Assistant via email steve.dowling@acs.org.uk

CPGSS Activity

Advisory Group for Economic Development on High Streets

Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, asked the CPGSS to form an Advisory Group for Economic Development on High Streets. The agreed remit of the economic development group was to develop Welsh-specific guidance for local authorities and partnerships on the powers they can use to support high streets and local shopping parades.

The guidance is set for publication early on in the fifth term of the National Assembly for Wales and will include considerations on business rates, planning, parking and partnership working.

Small Shops Reception

The CPGSS has hosted a Ministerial reception on the economic and social contributions made by small shops to the Welsh economy. The reception included a roundtable discussion on issues for small shops and acknowledged that business rates remain a pertinent issue for small retailers. The reception emphasised the importance of balancing the needs of Welsh Government and local authorities and serves as a good forum for engagement between retailers and policy makers.

CPGSS policy meetings

The group host regular meetings to discuss legislative developments that will affect small shops. The group has heard from Officials leading on the development of the Planning Bill (Wales) and Government appointed experts reviewing the Business Rates system in Wales,

Management of the Cross Party Groups

Cross Party Groups (CPGs) are unofficial groups within the National Assembly for Wales comprised of AMs from at least three different political parties. The rules for running Cross Party Groups are available here.