Does Sidmouth have too many charity shops?

High Street

High Street - Credit: Archant

Should there be tougher regulations on the amount of charity shops in Sidmouth’s town centre?

That was one of the issues discussed at last week’s meeting. Sidmouth has around 14 charity shops. MP Sir Hugo Swire said everyone wanted to support charity, adding: “The issue with charity shops is a difficult one. My own feeling about charity shops is no-one has an objection as long as they are not displacing normal retailers. They used to sell previously-owned goods.

“The problem is now they have migrated to selling brand-new goods like everybody else and the problem is they don’t pay rates like everyone else. So if you want to kill off your high street quickly, you rely on a plethora of charity shops.

“I don’t know if it’s feasible for the council to say there can only be a certain percentage of charity shops, or whether anyone can be tougher on what they are licensed to sell?

“It seems to me it is manifestly unfair that you can buy a brand-new birthday card in a charity shop and it will cost you possibly a little bit more in the next door shops that pay rates.”

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Read more about the meeting held with MP Sir Hugo Swire here:

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