Labour: Give locals say on shops

Labour would give communities a greater say over which shops appear on their high streets, such as payday lenders and bookmakers, Ed Miliband will pledge at the launch of his party's local election campaign.

Miliband launches Labour's local election campaign

Ed Miliband launches Labour's local election campaign in Ipswich.

A Labour government will give councils new powers to stop pay day lenders and betting shops swamping high streets, Ed Miliband pledged.

Businesses that do well out of hard times are springing up in place of shops, restaurants and banks but town halls are almost powerless to act, the party leader warned.

He set out Labour proposals to change planning laws so councils could refuse permission for certain businesses, including payday lenders that "engulf" people in debt.

Miliband to outline five local election priorities

The Labour leader Ed Miliband will today outline five priorities for his party's local election campaign.

They include:

  • Cancelling the millionaires’ tax cut, and protecting the tax credits.
  • Introducing a mansion tax on houses worth over £2million fund a return of 10p income tax rate.
  • Reforming the energy market to "break the stranglehold" of the big six energy companies.
  • Cracking down on train fare increases.
  • Giving council's the power to control the payday loan companies opening up on their high streets.

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Miliband: Councils finding they lack 'real power'

Everyone here today knows how important our high streets are to towns and cities across Britain. They're not just the places we go to shop. They're the heart of our local communities. But today our high streets are changing -and often not for the better.

Take an example. One of the fastest growing businesses on the high street are the payday lenders, sometimes charging extortionate rates of interest. In hard times, it is no wonder people turn to them. But often they just engulf people in debts that they cannot pay. Interest rates of over 1000%.

Too many councils are finding that they don't have the real power to stand up for local people. But that is what politics is supposed to be about: standing up for those without power and giving power to them.

Currently if a bank branch closes down, there's nothing a council can do if a payday loan shop wants to move in and open up in the same place. Even if there's another lender next door. That can't be right.

– Labour leader Ed Miliband

Labour to give councils high street shops powers

Labour will give local communities more say over which shops appear on their high streets, Ed Miliband will pledge today at the launch of the party's local election campaign.

In a speech later today, Mr Miliband is expected to say that local councils will be given new powers to prevent certain shops such as payday lenders that "engulf" people in debt and bookmakers opening.

Ed Miliband will set out Labour proposals to change planning laws

The Labour leader will say: "Too many councils are finding that they don't have the real power to stand up for local people".

"Currently if a bank branch closes down, there's nothing a council can do if a payday loan shop wants to move in and open up in the same place. Even if there's another lender next door. That can't be right."

Local elections will take place on 2 May, in more than 200 local authorities in England and one in Wales.

Find out more about the local elections in your area