MP Talks Shop in Gatley

September 21, 2007 4:20 PM
Spar in Gatley

Mark visiting the Spar in Gatley to publicise the change of legal age for tobacco products

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter visited the Spar store in Gatley last week (Thursday 14th) to show his support for local shops serving the community. This visit was supported by the Association of Convenience Stores.

The Spar store, owned by Jonathan Clarke, is a prime example of a neighbourhood shop, having been run by the Clarke family for many years.

The future of local shops is currently a matter of significant debate in Parliament and Mr Hunter's visit gave him an insight into the issues that local shops face.

Jonathan Clarke discussed various issues concerning his business and neighborhood with his MP including the effect of crime and the increase in the tobacco age to 18 on 1st October. The Cheadle MP is supporting this move by stressing the importance of raising awareness of the change in law.

Mark Hunter MP said: "I was very pleased to be invited to officially visit the Spar store in Gatley and meet its owner again. The visit gave me the opportunity to discuss with Mr Clarke the problems that are faced by neighbourhood stores and their owners. Local stores are very important for our local community, they are run by local residents and serve the needs of residents who are unable to travel or wish to shop in their local area, and I happy to be able to help support them in any way I can."

Mr Clarke said: "I am proud to serve the community and believe passionately that independent shops are best at serving local needs. I was delighted to show Mark my shop, and it is very important to make sure that he knows the problems we face. It was great for Mark to give me his support in tackling crime in the area and also his help publicising the tobacco age increasing to 18. "

ACS Public Affairs and Communication Manager Shane Brennan said: "There is no substitute for a politician coming to a local shop and seeing for themselves the issues that they face. By showing MPs what convenience stores have to offer, we can build support in Parliament. I would encourage all convenience stores to follow Mr Clarke's lead and invite their MP to visit their store to share their views on key issues."

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