Traders in mass revolt against charity shops

PUBLISHED: 14:32 29 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 15 June 2010

NEARLY every business in Honiton town centre has signed a letter, calling on politicians to cap the number of charity shops in High Streets.

NEARLY every business in Honiton town centre has signed a letter, calling on politicians to cap the number of charity shops in High Streets.The letter, signed by 109 business owners and sent to MP Angela Browning, says: "The independent traders of Honiton are becoming extremely concerned at the rapidly increasing number of charity shops on the High Street."Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organised the protest, asking if 11 charity shops is fair on small businesses in Honiton.The chamber wants to know if the number of charity shops in any town can be capped, according to each town's population.Chairman Ralph Hibbert has asked Mrs Browning: "When charity shops are spending publicly donated money on expensive refits, right down to colour co-ordinated clothes hangers, should they not declare at local level what they are spending - so the public can see how much or how little of their donated money actually goes to the cause they thought they were supporting?"A proliferation in the sale of new goods in charity shops is of particular concern to chamber members.They say: "This is completely unfair," pointing out charity shops get an 80 per cent reduction in business rates. "The situation creates a vicious downward spiral... more shops then find trading not to be viable and close.

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