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James Lowman: chief executive, ACS

We've just launched our 2019 Crime Report, and it's another shocking insight into the extent and frequency of crime against our sector. Let's start with the financial impact: crimes committed against the convenience sector cost an estimated £246m over the past year, equivalent to over £5,300 for every store in the UK, or what amounts to a 7p 'tax' on every single transaction.

Merril Boulton: editor

So it's already March and at the end of this month, who knows what will have happened re what's become the dreaded Brexit situation. But one thing is for certain, and that is the success of the Top 50 Indies, which is clear to see in our latest report published in February (see News Extra, page 10). It sums up another intriguing year, in which, following an impressive run of 13 years at the top for MRH, there is a new number one MFG which, with an incredible 925 sites is twice the size of the next group on the list the EG Group.

Brian Madderson: chairman, PRA

There is no doubt that as we head towards Brexit Day on March 29, our politicians and political commentators are ensuring that the outcome continues to be very uncertain. No one can forecast with any real confidence where the country will be in three month's time. This is much the same with the proposed Sainsbury's/Asda tie-up as the Competition & Markets Authority announced a further delay on their findings to April 30. No certainty with this one either!

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

Oil prices continued to rise as it became clear that the US was not securing a quick win to force President Nicolas Maduro from power in Venezuela, prolonging sanctions on the country's oil exports.

Alexander Russell: consultant, Car Wash Association (CWA)

Continued pressure by the Car Wash Association (CWA), together with support from MPs, was responsible for finally getting the issue of rogue hand car washes (HCWs) onto Parliament's agenda via the Environmental Audit Committee's (EAC) June 2018 hearings. It was rewarding that the EAC's remit, the context in which they set the issues and the questions that were raised, were all so closely aligned with the CWA's principal concerns. In addition to widespread pollution by up to 20,000 HCWs, these included Modern Slavery, tax evasion, employment and health and safety abuses, money laundering and drug dealing.

Tracy West: retail commentator

If thousands of your customers were asked to rate your store for things like appearance, queuing time, range of products and value for money, how do you think you'd do?

Merril Boulton: editor

Great to see that Shell is raising the bar on forecourt food with its launch of the Jamie Oliver deli by Shell range. The forecourt sector has been crying out for some 'properly decent' food on the go, for some time.

Stephen Marcos Jones: UKPIA director general

It is a new year, but the fuel supply industry faces the same challenges with uncertainty surrounding the UK's exit from the EU first and foremost a concern on the forecourt and across our sector.

Chris Judge: analysis editor, Argus Media

UK transport fuels shed around 1ppl in January, but the losses are expected to be short-lived, as international oil markets climbed steadily through the month in response to the US sanctions against oil-rich Venezuela.

Ray Blake: PRA technical director

My name is Ray Blake and I am a 'Petrol Head'. My addiction to cars drives my wife mad and I thank her for putting up with my obsession for over four decades. From the moment I was given my first Corgi model car when I was five, a Studerbaker Gold Hawk, I was fixated on cars. I have progressed through toy cars (Matchbox, Corgi, Dinky, Hot Wheels, Scalextric) to my first real car (1967 Austin A40 Farina, given to me by my grandfather when I was 16), to the zenith of a collection of six classic cars.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 10 February 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands129.4868.90139.04125.87
North East127.6463.90137.79124.24
North West128.7161.90138.29125.24
Northern Ireland126.52131.30123.30
South East130.6866.90139.77126.86
South West129.48136.50125.54
West Midlands129.5665.90139.76125.95
Yorkshire & Humber128.82139.37125.16

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Has the Government's shock announcement to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles - as well as hybrids - to 2035 or even earlier caused concern and disruption to your future forecourt development plans?

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