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Cross party MPs join forces to tackle cost of living crisis on the high street

The All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Town Centres has been relaunched with City of Durham MP, Mary Kelly Foy, elected as Chair. The group, which aims to provide a focal point for discussions around high streets, town centres and city centres, will get to work immediately to tackle the challenges faced by local economies amidst the current cost of living crisis.

During the inaugural meeting held on the 26th April, Mary committed to pick up the mantle from outgoing Chair, Stephen Hammond MP. Mary expressed her enthusiasm for the role and highlighted the importance of the group's work.

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Mary Kelly Foy MP said:

"Town centres and high streets are the beating heart of our communities. They provide access to local jobs and services, and serve as important social hubs that are crucial to our daily lives. However, the dual crises of a damaging pandemic, succeeded by a cost-of-living crisis means they are under pressure, and businesses are nervous about the future. I’ve witnessed this on the highstreets in my own constituency, and I know it is the case across the UK.

But there is cause for hope for the future the APPG for Town Centres needs to be central to that, working with parliamentarians from all parties, and with the UK Government to give voice to our highstreets,  help alleviate the immediate challenges they face and set out a positive vision for what they could become.”

The group is composed of cross-party MPs who share a common interest in supporting the vitality of town centres across the UK. It has the support of the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), a not-for-profit, membership body whose members manage high streets across the UK.

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The Chair of ATCM, Lisa Carlson, said:

“This group is so important for our members who are working hard to make town centres great places to live, work, play and relax. The APPG allows them the opportunity to develop a two way dialogue with policy-makers on key issues. Not only do we have to tackle the immediate inflationary pressures we place, but we also need to think long-term about regeneration, net zero, town centre living and many other issues. 


Lisa thanked Stephen Hammond MP for his contribution and looks forward to the prospect of working with Mary Kelly Foy MP.

“Stephen has played such a vital role, stepping up as Chair during the pandemic when we needed the group most. We are pleased that he will continue to support the group going forward. We are delighted that Mary is taking this on. She has been a pro-active MP when it comes to championing the high street. She will be a powerful advocate for the beating heart of our communities.” 

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