Yesterday I met with the Retail Trade Consortium. It was a useful meeting covering a wide range of issues from the levy on single use carrier bags, which they are firmly opposed to and which I strongly support, and the revitalisation of High Streets and town centres – which we both strongly support.
Some interesting ideas on helping to revitalise our town centres include specialist festivals, improved public transport, cleaner footpaths, alcohol control, promotion of independent traders, graffiti hit squads, information officers (perhaps only appropriate in the larger towns) as well, of course, as business rate relief. The last item we have already announced a policy and been pushing the Welsh Government to a position where at least they have provided some measure of relief in relation to the revaluation that takes effect next April, though not nearly enough.
The other policies are likely to be central to our manifesto for the 2011 Assembly elections.