Labour plans free WiFi to save high streets from ‘slow death’

Free public WiFi would be provided in town centres across the country under Labour plans to reverse the decline in the nation’s high streets.

Proposals announced at the party’s conference in Liverpool also include ensuring access to cash by banning ATM charges and halting bank closures.

The measures are part of a five-point plan to save town centres from a “slow and agonising death” following the difficulties faced by a string of major retailers.

High street stores
(PA Graphics)

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “Our high streets need saving from a slow and agonising death.

“As part of our plan to rebuild Britain and breathe life back into our communities, Labour will scrap ATM charges, deliver free WiFi to town centres, introduce a register of empty properties, provide free bus travel for under 25s and overhaul the broken business rates system which is hammering retail.

“Boarded-up shops and deserted high streets are a result of years of neglect and austerity.

“Our country needs to radically change course so our towns can thrive again.”

The high street has been battered this year by several high-profile retail administrations and store closure programmes.

House of Fraser, Maplin and Toys R Us have all gone bust, while New Look, Carpetright and Mothercare have shut stores.

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