Mixed reaction to extending Sunday trading hours in Eastbourne

Terminus Road Eastbourne the main shopping street. March 15th 2012 ENGSUS00120120315163735

Terminus Road Eastbourne the main shopping street. March 15th 2012 ENGSUS00120120315163735

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Plans to allow local authorities to extend Sunday trading hours has been met with mixed views in Eastbourne.

While some welcome the shake-up, others have said Sunday is a family day, and should be protected.

Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce the shake up in trading laws in tomorrow’s Budget.

Christina Ewbank, chief executive of the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, was in two minds about the plans.

She said, “My advice would be, whatever is decided by Brighton, Hastings and Tunbridge Wells, we are going to need to compete.

“But my personal view is Sunday is a special day. It would be best to keep it as a short day.”

She said some businesses would choose to open longer on a Sunday, while others would stick to their current hours, but she pointed out longer opening hours means more opportunity for visitors to spend money in the town.

Darren Weir, chairman of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, said, “In my view anything that could encourage visitors to stay in the town and spend their money must be a good thing.

“At the end of the day it’s about choice. There are people who want to treat Sundays differently and of course they can still do so.

“At the moment Sundays are seen by hotels and guesthouses as the day where many of the weekend guests check out and leave as there is little to keep people in the town and is the night where occupancy is extremely low.

“By offering an extended retail experience - this might be the thing that turns a two night break into a three night one. More choice can only be a good thing.”

One Herald reader, Val Widdison, commented on Facebook, and said, “How many hours a week do people need for shopping. Most people have fridges and freezers now. Some of us would like it to go back to Sunday closing and be able to enjoy Sunday at leisure.”

But James Belcher said, “Depends if people are willing to do overtime, or if new staff can be employed. Personally I wouldn’t mind doing a couple of extra hours at work on a Sunday, bit of pocket money.”

To see the Herald’s initial story on the news, click here.

And to join the lively debate on the issue, visit the Herald’s Facebook page, .

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