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Labour to launch commission aimed at rebuilding high streets

LABOUR will launch a commission today aimed at gathering expertise on how to rebuild Britain’s high streets.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds is set to kick off the venture during a visit to Dewsbury town centre in west Yorkshire.

It will bring together business experts from the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, including shopworkers’ union Usdaw, local government and co-operatives.

Nearly 10,000 shops, 6,000 pubs, 7,500 bank branches and more than 1,000 libraries have closed in the last decade, according to the party, with some 180,000 retail jobs already lost during the pandemic.

Ms Dodds said: “Our high streets have been through a gruelling year, and Conservative changes to planning laws and their failure to reform the broken business-rates system mean there are more challenges ahead.”

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “We all need to look strategically at what we want our high streets to look like, how we achieve that, and how it can be made to be sustainable for the long term. 

“That’s why the work of this commission is so important and I am pleased to speak for retail workers on it.”

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