UK General Election 2017

A UK general election will be held on 8th June 2017.


Members Guide to Contacting your Parliamentary Candidate


A General Election has been called on June 8th 2017. With elections rapidly approaching, the NFRN believes that now is the optimum time to start building relationships with Prospective Candidates.

Why is it important?

We feel it is important to be proactive and to engage early with those who may be elected in June 2017. This will ensure that they are briefed and fully understand the challenges that are facing independent retailers and news retailers before they come into office.

Regardless of whether the candidate already has knowledge of these areas, now is a great opportunity to build or expand on working relationships with those who are influencing policy for the future.

What can you do to help?

The NFRN encourages all districts and members to contact the prospective parliamentary candidates from the main parties in their constituencies. By sending a letter (see our template below) or email requesting to meet or discuss the issues affecting your business and other independent retailers, this helps to inform prospective candidates on real issues affecting the sector.

The meeting will allow you to highlight any concerns or issues that you, or your business are facing, as well as promoting the importance of the independent retail sector.

What issues should you raise?

If you are successful in obtaining a meeting, please feel free to raise any issues or concerns you or your business may have. This could include, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Retail Crime
  • Town policy / parking compensation
  • Energy prices
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Illicit tobacco
  • Business Rates
  • Carriage charges
  • Licensing
  • National Living Wage



What should I bring to the meeting?

It would be ideal if you could bring a camera along with you to the meeting to take a picture of yourself with the prospective candidate. The NFRN can then distribute the pictures along with a press release to the local media.

If you are going to discuss retail crime, and you have a CCTV camera, it would be ideal if you brought along some CCTV footage to show the prospective candidate.

How do I identify candidates in my constituency?

You can find below a full list of who is standing in all 650 seats, with their political party, and constituency they’re standing in.

What happens after the meeting?

If you are successful in obtaining a meeting, the NFRN Public Affairs team would be grateful to hear about your experience.

You can contact the team by emailing or calling 020 7253 4225


Full list of 2017 general election candidates

Find out who is standing in your constituency by visiting the BBC News website.


Download our Template Letter

The NFRN has created a template letter which members can use to engage with their parliamentary candidate.

To ensure your letter captures your candidate’s attention, it is important for it to be as personalised as possible. The parts in the [square brackets] in red are either notes that should be deleted before the letter is sent, or are options or places for information about you and your business inserted.

At the meeting: Potential Discussion Points

  1. Tell them about your business – how long you have been running, the products you sell and the customers you have.
  2. Discuss local issues affecting your business – would you benefit from increased parking facilities, or have you dealt with instances of anti-social behaviour or crime? Now is your time to raise any concerns you have with the prospective candidate.
  3. Highlight the importance of your business to the local community – do you provide a service that local people rely on?
  4. If you feel confident, you may wish to raise the issues affecting the independent stores nationally – the cost of business rates, payroll costs, and threat to the trade and the scale of retail crime.
  5. Ask the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate how they would tackle these issues if elected.

Please let the NFRN Public Affairs team know that you have met with the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and what you have discussed.

You can contact the team by emailing or calling 020 7253 4225

More general election news

How we’re fighting your corner ahead of general election

CEO Paul Baxter on how the NFRN will be highlighting the challenges facing independent retailers to MPs and PPCs ahead of the 2017 UK General Election.

In the space of just a few short months we have had two shock announcements, with the proposed £3.7 billion merger of Tesco and Booker and, more recently,  the Prime Minister’s out of the blue decision to call a snap general election.

To my mind both bring opportunities for independent retailers. The creation of the UK’s biggest food company promises keener prices, better service and an expanded range for those served by Booker, along with the chance to benefit from Tesco’s banking, mobile and tap and go services in the future. The forthcoming general election, meanwhile, gives the NFRN and our members a golden opportunity to help shape our political future.

Between now and June 8 we will be engaging with as many prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) and MPs as we can to tell them they must not ignore the needs of small and independent retailers and to set out the actions that can be undertaken to support local shops.

This includes detailing the importance of smaller shops in their communities and the valuable role that independent retailers play; explaining how government policies impact on members’ businesses; and recommending the improvements we want to see implemented by the next government.

On retail crime, we will press for police and courts to recognise that this is a serious and growing problem that needs to be addressed so that retailers do not work in constant fear.

PPCs will be left in no doubt that business rates remain the priority tax in need of reform, as the current system of independent retailers paying proportionately more than large out of town stores or internet retailers is inherently wrong. Such a system is no longer fit for purpose and action is necessary to resolve this.

PPCs will hear how the confidence of NFRN members is buckling under crippling overheads caused by National Living Wage increases, pension auto enrolment, utility bills that continue to go upwards and ever increasing carriage charges. There needs to be a greater understanding of the impacts these have on independent retailers before it is too late and shops are forced to close, depriving communities of a valued service.

You, too, can play a part in our pre-election campaign by contacting your local candidates and putting the case for independent retailers, identifying the national and local issues that need resolving once the new government is in place.

Making as many parliamentary candidates as we can aware of our concerns is a vital way of making sure that when it matters they can help.