The Association of Convenience Stores has set out its priorities for government ahead of the election on June 8 and called on the sector to get involved to promote the work being done by convenience store owners and their staff in communities.

Speaking to industry leaders, senior retailers and retail experts at Summit17, ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We know that convenience stores and post offices are the most valued local service in communities, but as the major parties consider their priorities for the next parliament, we need to tell our story better.

I’m challenging our sector to make their voice heard and to get into the heads and hearts of politicians. Over the next six weeks, I’m calling on everyone to use this opportunity to promote the convenience sector, the issues we face, and the people that run stores across the UK.”

ACS’ election priorities for Government focus on four key areas:

• Reforming the business rates system so that it is fair, transparent and incentivises businesses to invest;

• Helping local shops employ and train more people by reducing the cost of employment, allowing more flexible use of the Apprenticeship Levy and depoliticising low pay issues;

• Increasing funding for councils to deliver more cleaning and litter structure, helping to educate consumers about litter and extending the successful 5p charge on carrier bags to all shops in England;

• Tackling shop theft by creating a uniform reporting mechanism for local shops to report low value shop theft offences, and making better use of existing sanctions for theft.

Over the next six weeks, ACS will be calling on every major parliamentary candidate to show their support for local shops on social media, while also hosting store visits across the UK and organising a series of events where representatives from the major parties will be able to set out their plans to support local shops and other small businesses after the election.

The latest information about the ACS election campaign, including news on manifesto announcements and downloadable materials on how to engage locally, are available in the lobbying section of the ACS website.