MP's bid to protect independent shops and pubs

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert wants protection for local shops Photo: totalpolitics.com

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has called on the Government to "tweak" planning laws to protect independent shops and pubs.

The Liberal Democrat MP introduced his own Parliamentary Bill which would give greater powers to councils when deciding planning issues.

He told MPs that 12,000 local shops closed in 2009. He added that in Cambridge more than 20 pubs had closed in the past three years, while one big supermarket chain had five sites in the city.

He said the situation wasn't something his constituents should have to accept, citing the example of one local pub, The Flying Pig in Cambridge, that was very popular but still faced demolition.

Mr Huppert's proposals would make it harder for big supermarkets and chain stores to take over smaller independent shops.

His bill passed its first stage today but is unlikely to become law because of a lack of parliamentary time.