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Tracy West: Shop Talk

I've written about this before and I'm sure I'll write about it again. It's to do with today's all-singing, all-dancing service stations. It's not a complaint: I love them. I wish I had more near where I live or at least one decent one near where I live.

Merril Boulton: editor

Happy New Year to you all I hope trading was bouyant over the festive season. But while I had intended to continue in positive fashion, I am sorry to hear that it wasn't a very good start to the New Year for Top 50 Indie, High Noon Stores, which went into administration on December 30 (see News page 4). Scant information is currently available, but I hope the difficulties can be resolved. If not, it would be the first Top 50 Indie to hit the buffers since 2012, when Scottish independent Calanike which had 19 sites ceased trading.

James Lowman: ACS chief executive

As we build up to the new financial year starting in April when businesses in England and Wales will start paying rates based on the latest revaluation, there's been a lot in the papers about business rates. While a lot of the media coverage talks about the pounds and pence increases, the underlying issue remains that two years ago, the government committed to undertaking a fundamental review of business rates and we're yet to see a clear conclusion to it.

Kevin Eastwood: executive director BOSS

Police forces across the country are under pressure and forecourt retailers have a responsibility to help the police to use their limited resources effectively.

Shop Talk: Tracy West

Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope it's going to be a good one. After all the surprises of 2016, you can't help but wonder what's in store and I'm going to take that quite literally and have a look at the new products we might get to see in 2017.

Merril Boulton: editor

It's not so long ago that you would have recoiled to think that supermarkets and independent retailers could work together on any kind of project, the former having kicked the 'proverbials' out of the latters' livelihoods for many years. Now we have two Top 50 groups Rontec and MFG (see News page 5) working with Morrisons in store trials (not to mention Euro Garages and Sainsbury's). Do you think they ever dare to mention fuel prices?

Brian Madderson: chairman PRA

For several months, the PRA has been lobbying ministers to introduce a fuel duty cut with 3ppl recommended for both grades. The Chancellor invited PRA earlier this month to meet senior officials at HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs to present their case.

David Charman: chairman CWA

When I look back over the past 20 years trading as a convenience petrol retailer, the change has been enormous. At the start when the oil company logo was above the door, we were viewed with the suspicion that everything we sold would somehow be smeared with oil or smell of petrol. Nowadays, the retail excellence from all sites really sets the standard of convenience retail in the UK. Over 50% of sites now boast a symbol brand above the door. There were always good sites throughout that time and the difficulty now is that most sites are great sites.

Shop Talk: Tracy West

I must say that I'm feeling a little bit smug and that's because all of my Christmas shopping is virtually done.

Merril Boulton: What a shocker

Well that was a bit of a shocker the government consulting on plans to force larger service stations, supermarket forecourts and motorway service areas to provide hydrogen refuelling facilities and charging points for electric vehicles (see News Extra on page 10). The measures are included in a consultation document for the Modern Transport Bill, due in Parliament next year, and interested parties only have until November 23 to submit their views.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
West Midlands130.4059.90137.63126.57
Yorkshire & Humber130.02139.47126.29

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When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?

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