A report by the London Assembly has recommended that local, independent shops are given support by the Mayor in order to survive and compete with the multiples.

The report states that London alone lost 7,000 independent shops between 2001 and 2007 and that unless independents are given protection from the planning system then the decline will only get worse.

James Bielby, of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, spoke last night on ITV’s London Tonight to explain the benefit of local shops in the community. You can watch the report below.

He explained, “We’re certainly not advocating the death of the supermarket. What we’re really advocating is a mix and a choice. If the high street was dominated only by the multiple retailers then every high street would look the same and you’ll lose that community hub that the local shop offers.”

What do you think? Can legislation protect independents from the impact of the multiples smaller-format stores? Should councils across the country follow the example set out in the London Assembly report? Let us know your thoughts.