With plenty of new legislation coming out of the Scottish government recently, our parliamentary reception in Holyrood on 24 April was timely.

It presented NFRN members from Scotland with an opportunity to highlight issues facing independent retailers and the ways that MSPs could help.

It also gave us the chance to share our 2018 Independent Retail Report for Scotland, which documents our position on a range of issues, from retail crime, the current Scottish government’s review of its tobacco control policy, bank branch closures and our support for the introduction of a bottle and can deposit return scheme.

We are grateful to MSP Graeme Dey for hosting this important event and enabling the NFRN’s voice to be heard within the Scottish government. As well as handing out our Independent Retail Report for Scotland on the night, all MSPs have been sent copies and requested that after reading it thoroughly they consider how they can lend support. 

Earlier that afternoon, and with Scottish district president Rory O’Brien and other NFRN members, I was pleased to have the chance to meet with MSP Daniel Johnson to pledge our support for his “Not Part of the Job” Bill to tackle violence against retailers when refusing the sale of age-restricted products.

The NFRN has long campaigned for greater protection for retailers and their staff when refusing to sell under age products, so Johnson’s proposal is welcomed.  

Everyone who works in a shop has a right to feel safe and not be expected to tolerate abuse and threats simply for refusing the sale of any product carrying an age restriction. 

We were delighted to pledge the NFRN’s support for such an important piece of legislation. It calls for crimes at work to be taken seriously, for better protection from the law and for a clear and lower threshold to be established at which obstructive, abusive or threatening behaviour is considered a crime and for which criminals will be prosecuted.

Linda Sood is national president of the NFRN

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