Poll results reveal more than half of Hadleigh shoppers are against Sunday trading

Hadleigh High Street. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Hadleigh High Street. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE


More than 65% of readers would prefer shops did not open on Sundays in Hadleigh, results of an online poll have revealed.

The debate over Sunday trading laws was re-ignited this week after the town’s chamber of commerce asked shoppers for their views.

Large scale plans to overhaul the laws – which would give councils the freedom to set their own opening hours – were dropped in March last year.

But in a Facebook post shared by several residents, Hadleigh’s business hub put the question to shoppers once again.

They said: “Modern retail is a 24/7 activity, would you shop in the High Street if it were open on a Sunday?”

When a poll by this newspaper asked similar questions on Friday, the results exposed division.

Around 66% of people said shops should not open on Sundays, with participants suggesting it should be a day of relaxation and family time.

Closer to 70% felt longer opening hours would not benefit the town.

Leigh Mills, who runs Sweet Memories, said she already opens six days a week.

She added: “I need the one day off to do everything I need to do including things for the shop, not including my home life and family time.”

Resident Sarah Martin said: “Part of the charm of Hadleigh is that it still feels like a quaint Suffolk village, the perfect place for families and children.

“I live in Hadleigh and work on the High Street and would hate to see Sunday trading.”

However, Kathryn Grandon – a district councillor – said the town may benefit from Sunday trading.

She added: “I understand that with many of the shops being small and independent it creates hardship for some owners, but long-term it might benefit them.”

Chamber of commerce chairman Sean Garnham, who sparked the debate, owns two branches of Hall Street clothing in Hadleigh and Long Melford.

He said: “For us, we are a business that lends itself well to Sunday opening. We get around 14% of our yearly turnover from opening on Sundays.

“I am not unsympathetic to people who are against working or shopping.

“But what I would say to them is do they shop online, or use supermarkets on those days?

Mr Garnham added: “Unfortunately some shops do need to open on Sundays to survive.

“Hadleigh is already on the map as a great little destination to eat out and to shop, but we have to keep it that way.

Related articles

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists