Vikki Howells MS

Vikki Howells MS

Vikki Howells MS has been elected as the chair of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops, re-established for the sixth term of the Welsh Parliament.

The core purpose of the group is to raise awareness in the Senedd about policy issues concerning the small shopkeepers who trade across communities in Wales.

The group has previously hosted the Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry and held several set piece meetings with ministers in attendance on a range of issues affecting convenience stores including: business rates, retail crime and planning reforms.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We have worked with Vikki since she was elected to the Welsh Parliament and we are delighted that she has become chair of the group – a further example of her commitment to support local shops across Wales.

“Convenience stores across Wales provide over 26,000 local, flexible jobs and access to a range of essential services. The Cross Party Group on Small Shops plays an important role in promoting the social and economic role of local shops and how to support their place in local communities.”

Howells said: “The Cross-Party Group on Small Shops provides a useful space for politicians in the Senedd to talk to shopkeepers and representatives from the sector about what needs to be done to create an environment in which small shops can survive and thrive.

“Small shops play a vital role in our local economies, and are the backbone of village and town high streets including in my own constituency of Cynon Valley so I am delighted to be elected chair of the group, and look forward to playing my part to support them.”

Russell George MS has been elected as vice-chair of the group. The Association of Convenience Stores has been re-elected as secretariat to the group.