The National Federation of Retail Newsagents launched its 2013 public affairs agenda in the Churchill Room of the House of Commons this week, as parliamentarians listened carefully to the key areas of concern for independent newsagents and convenience store retailers

The 16-page Agenda for Maintaining a Healthy Independent Shop Sector sets out the eight areas of concern for members which will form the focus for the NFRN’s lobbying activity next year. These are:

• Retail Crime;

• The Newspaper and Magazine Sector;

• Localism;

• Business Rates;

• Planning;

• Banking;

• Age Restricted Products;

• Reducing Regulation;

• Sunday Trading.

In his introduction to the Agenda, NFRN national president Alan Smith said: “Independent shops are a vital part of the social and economic fabric of this country and yet in so many ways they operate under burdens that threaten their very existence

 "We have, over the past few years, really developed a great relationship with many Parliamentarians – in both Houses and from all political parties – who have supported our members and our concerns as an organisation. There is no such thing as a constituency without NFRN members and we will continue to help our members establish a relationship with their elected representatives in 2013."

The Parliamentary reception was sponsored by Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail & Business Crime, Mike Weatherley MP.

Weatherley said: "The public affairs work the Federation does is impressive and its influence far reaching. I am sure I speak for all the Parliamentarians in the room when I say thank you to NFRN members for your hours of service in our constituencies; you are more than just local businesses you are the hearts of our local communities."