Our message to Ministers: Healthy high streets and healthy communities go together! 

Commenting on the Labour Party’s election win, Health Stores UK chair Len Glenville, says: “In April, Labour announced a five-point plan ‘to restore Britain’s high streets’ if they won power. We wish the new Prime Minister and his team well, and look for forward to seeing the new Government  making good on its promise to halt the decline of local high streets and level the playing field between our high streets and online giants.

“At Health Stores UK, we also want our senior politicians to make the connection between healthy high streets and the health of the people who live in the communities they serve. Thriving high streets are good for local economies, create jobs and strengthen communities. Having an independent health food store in the high street mix means that people have access to a huge range of healthy, natural and sustainable products – and high quality advice – virtually on their doorsteps. 

“So, as well as keeping up the pressure on ministers to increase support for all independent retailers, we will highlight the vital role that health stores play in improving the health of the nation, while taking the pressure off the NHS. 

“As we said recently, we will be sending personal copies of our General Election Pledge Card to the Prime Minister and the new Health Secretary, Wes Streeting. Our message to them is a simple and clear one: healthy high streets and healthy communities really do go together!”

HEALTH STORES UK GENERAL ELECTION CHECKLIST

Public Health and Wellbeing 

• Recognise health food stores as playing a central role in improving the health of the nation, working alongside NHS and public health services – and support accordingly 

• Streamline regulation to increase access to a wider range of safe and valuable natural health products  

• Ensure future regulation of supplements, herbals and nutritional food products reflect needs of UK consumers 

• Appoint a Self-Care Tsar to promote the benefits of taking personal responsibility for health and wellbeing 

• Formalise the connection between independent health food stores and the Social Prescriber/Link Worker network

• Introduce lower rate of VAT for food supplements 

Retailer and business support 

• Set zero or reduced business rates for independent health food stores in recognition of their contribution to national health

• Take decisive action to level the playing field for small retail businesses

• Ensure that all future legislation affecting labour and overhead costs for SMEs is SME appropriate 

• Launch reinvigorated national ‘Shop Local’ consumer education campaign, explaining how shopping locally retains more money in local economies, provides more jobs, strengthens local communities and is better for the environment

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