As the major parties unveil their election manifestos, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has written to parliamentary candidates across England and Wales to ask for their support in recognising the contribution that local shops make to communities

and the economy.

The association said the local shops pledge was as follows: “Local shops make a vital contribution to the national and local economy. Shops also provide a valued service at the heart of communities throughout this constituency. As a Member of Parliament, I will work to ensure that this contribution is recognised and supported.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "As we get closer to the election, we have to make sure that the issues facing local shops are at the front of mind of prospective MPs, and this pledge takes great steps in ensuring that. In the first few days of the campaign, we have had a great response from candidates and we intend to move forward with the campaign over the coming weeks."

The ACS sais it was also currently undertaking store visits with key Prospective Parliamentary Candidates who have strong retail experience and will champion the issues of local shops. Visits have already taken place with Jane Ellison, Conservative PPC for Battersea; Justine Greening, current Conservative MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and Zac Goldsmith, Conservative PPC for Richmond Park, with more to come in the weeks leading to the General Election.