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MPs to debate Portas review in Parliament

MPs will meet in Parliament later today to debate Mary Portas’ review on the future of the high streets.

The debate, scheduled to take place in the Chamber in the House of Commons from about 3.30pm today will be attended by MPs including Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones and Lewisham MP Jim Dowd.

Danczuk, who recently wrote to high street minister Grant Shapps asking him to consider bringing forward the Government’s response to the Portas review, has prepared a speech for the debate addressing some of the issues which he says are concerning both retailers and shoppers in his constituency.

“If I get the chance to speak during the debate I will be raising issues including credit insurance, business rates and the economy including falling levels of consumer confidence,” said Danczuk.

“These are all things that retailers in my constituency feel very strongly about and I have also been talking to shoppers in Rochdale and listening to what they want.”

Danczuk said that a lot of time had been set aside for the debate and he expects it to last between two and three hours.

“I have a lot to say on business rates,” he added. “Especially on how the Valuation Office Agency deals with appeals on business rates as I don’t necessarily think it is the most effective process at the moment.”

This debate follows a well-attended meeting of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Town Centres to discuss the issues raised by Portas Review, which was published in December.

Those wishing to watch the debate live can do so via the UK Parliament website at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Home.aspx.

For more on the debate see this Friday’s issue of Drapers.

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