Sunday trading requete defeated

The States has this afternoon rejected a call to suspend the Sunday Trading law for a year.

The States has this afternoon rejected a call to suspend the Sunday Trading law for a year.

The requete, from Deputy Mike Hadley, pictured, was defeated at the end of a day-long discussion.

Deputy Hadley had been prompted to bring forward his plan by the Commerce and Employment Department's announement that it had no plans to review Sunday trading.

But C&E Minister Deputy Kevin Stewart today told members that his department would look at the issue during the life of this House.

The requete was lost by 28 votes to 13 with one abstention.

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Comments for: "Sunday trading requete defeated"


Well done States of Guernsey. Sanity rules. No Sunday trading. FANTASTIC!!


A strange debate all round. Why spend time arguing about the length or the trial and when it should start, only for it to be thrown out? Why not first take a vote on whether to approve the trial in principle before arguing over the finer points? Would've saved a lot of time.


Thank you States of Guernsey. This decision will make this weekend extra special. Thank you for standing up for the little people and family life.


As Peter Roffey said in yesterdays press---As for Minister Stuart? Can this straight-laced,ultra-establishment,don"t rock the boat character really be the same feisty,sarcastic DJ who used to regularly lampoon the States on Island FM? Well how people change,never mind we will wait for another day,my life won"t change but thye choice would have been nice.


Fantastic result, we do NOT want to be like UK, Sunday is a special day for families, all those who want it you can always go to live in the UK!


.... Unless someone in your family is one of the apparently second class citizens who already do work on a Sunday ( nurses , firemen , police , waiters and waitresses, chefs , airline pilots and baggage handlers , bus drivers, taxi drivers , and so on and so on )

Why is it only retail and office staff deserve to have a special family day ?


From your post I get the feeling that you don't think working on a Sunday is a 'nice' thing to have to do. Why then would you want to extend that to more people? It's a kind of 'dragging every one down to the lowest common denominator' theory. This person has to do something horrid, therefore everyone should have to do it!


Rosie, every job I've had since leaving school has involved working Sundays. I have no problem with working Sundays ...... and I really dont understand the logic in continuing to FORCE people to take the day off solely because of where they work.

If families want to spend time together .... Well the kids dont start school until 830 .... And finish at 3 ..... That gives you about 16 hours a day 5 days a week to spend with them , why do you need Sunday ! ;@)

Seriously , if everything closed at 3 in the afternoon we would get an extra 10 hours a week family time .... That would more than make up for anything lost working on a Sunday ....

Anyway, must get ready for work ( which is actually timed around taking the boy to rugby ..... So we wouldnt get any family time anyway .... )


Well said Toby I worked in the town fire service for 30 years and my family life wasn"t affected by shift working on sundays.The retailers work in that industry to retail to the public or choose another profession.


No surprise there then- why on earth would 26 representatives of the people actually represent a majority of the people. It was after all a trial, but they ALL know it would have been popular. Same old, same old. Pity mike Hadley has resigned but understandable- head banging hurts after a while.


Told you, complete carve up and a waste of time!


Good decision.


How can those of you saying "Sunday is for families" reconcile that against the fact that you can already go shopping on Sundays - just only in small stores. Do those people not count?

What about all the people who work Sundays now, but not in shops?

Sunday working is already here - it's just guernsey is hypocritical about it, and this does nothing to alter that.

And as for "in the life of this house", well that's suitably vague to be useless. No doubt exactly as intended.

Hopefully Dep. Stewart will ensure his team, no longer encumbered with this, actually start coming up with some original ideas and thoughts on improving guernsey's economy. So far, it's all been rather disappointing. Still at least he has a public profile - unlike some other deputies who are noticeable by their abilities to be invisible.



I hope those in favour of the status quo will still be boycotting the garden centres, garages, small shops, hotels, restaurants etc. that open on a Sunday in support the people that are currently forced to work there. To do otherwise would be somewhat hypocritical.

vic gamble

...see, Wally Chapman was right and the Devil was wrong....I bet Wally wishes he had not kicked up such a fuss...he should have known, from the outset, that God was on his side...that is the trouble with Christians,these days, they have no faith in their Creator !!!


Sensible decision but how long before this nonsense gets resurrected yet again?


According to Deputy Stewart it will be revisited before the end of this political term.


Internet shopping is the main competitor to Guernsey's small businesses and and its market share is increasing year on year.

It is open for business on Sundays'

Without an even playing field I cannot see how our small businesses can succeed in the years to come and I think this issue will be revisited in the not too far off future.


Nathan. I think that you will find that the small businesses can open now on a Sunday. Lifting the ST restrictions would have allowed the larger national shops such as Waitrose, B&Q, and the larger Co-op stores to open, thus creating a level of competition for the small local shops that they would find very hard to compete with. It is the lifting of the ST laws that would create the opposite of the 'even playing field' you dream of.


Rosie that is an argument I understand and agree with ..

A fairly simple solution to my mind would be to license who can open ( and therefore protect the small local shops ( for local people :*) ) - but then allow them to sell what they like

But that would be a sensible approach to the problem ..... And this is Guernsey itll never happen ...


I can't see any harm in having a small trial. Then at least any yes or no would have been an informed decision based on fact. I feel that the politicians made this into something more personal, as they usually do, throwing names at each other instead of researching the facts and looking at this objectively. Whatever your personal feelings or opinions, no pros or cons can be proved without a trial.


Oh well, another sunday coming up of wandering around Le Friquet looking at all the stuff we can't buy.


Why can't Mike Hadley accept other people's views? Firstly he says the States have made the wrong decision and then he blames Kevin Stewart. Why do some people like him move to this island and then spend their time trying to change it so that it becomes like the place they left. The whole charm of Guernsey is that it is different from the UK - no paid parking, its own money, stamps, airline and government etc.


Spot on John, and this applies in many other areas too. I am just grateful for the protection offered by this recent lot of States members. Maybe, we have a stronger, wiser representation this time around.


Sunday trading 7 days no don't bother 6 days a week is enough to get ripped off with local prices, when I was in Gatwick I bought I dog lead for £9.20 including VAT, a week later I saw the same lead for sale in Guernsey for the VAT free price of £12.20.

Please don't tell me it's the shipping costs from England, because if that really is the case then it's about time this was stopped.


Nathan I could say that the Lord works in mysterious ways, or others may say the Internet is the work of the Devil.

cyril serbant

Ho hum... see you all in a year or so. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.


The States of Guernsey has demonstrated the depth of its commitment to constructive change and responsibility by voting to maintain antediluvian law and regulations compounded by approval given additional real benefits to be paid for by deficit finance.


I still don't fully understand why everyone is so against VOLUNTARY Sunday trading.

If businesses don't want to open on a Sunday, the government can't force them to any more than they can force them to open on a Wednesday; it's simply a question of whether your customer wants the extra day to shop.

Repeal the law and let the market decide; if it's legal and every shop remains closed on a Sunday, we've lost nothing. If everyone CHOOSES to open on a Sunday, happy days.


A great debate and result .We in St Peter Port can now have a quiet day ,

Many forget as we are the main town . we have to put up with the noise and traffic from cars going to shop,delivery lorries blocking up the roads.

Sunday is a day when you can relax. cut your hedge with out fear of being knocked over or being called rude name because you blocking the road.

A day when if you want you can sweep and clean outside your house

A day when you can even cross the road with out having to wait for 5 mins for a break in traffic

A day when the air is cleaner

A day when it is quiet from traffic

in my book it was a great result!


Yes Kat I completely agree and I dont live in Town - I would add to your list

A day when you can amble from the bathing pools to the North Beach and back enjoying the ambience of a 'quiet' day in town

A day when you can park the car all day on the North Beach and catch a boat to Herm or Sark

A day to walk around the Marinas with minimal traffic

A few Sundays per year when events take place on the piers and the whole area is shut for traffic (OK that could be noisy but its an enjoyable reason!)

All in all a great result for trying to retain the Guernsey of old. We will still have silly sunday trading rules ie what you can buy in certain shops etc but that is preferable to all the big supermarkets and eventually all the town shops opening. Voluntary sunday trading just wont work because of competition, every shop will end up opening. Imagine how busy the Rohais and Admiral Park areas would be is Waitrose were to be open on Sundays too.


Fair enough on the result Kat (personally I would've been happy with a trial providing certain assurances were made) but great debate? Really?

Much of yesterday was shambolic, with amendments hastily drafted only to be thrown out on a technicality at the first hurdle and cheap shots thrown across the floor by people we elect to lead us with maturity and responsibility. Time was wasted discussing the finer points of the proposed trial only for it to be thrown out. Why not vote on the trial in principle then debate the other points if necessary?

I heard one notable all round speech, by Deputy Matt Fallaize and a few OK but decidedly average ones. Deputy Le Tocq spoke with his usual eloquence and was good in the sense that it corrected some of the misguided religious arguments about the Sabbath day. Deputy Lester Queripel tried in vain to get details on how the evidence would be dealt with - a fair question I thought - but he was basically ignored and I get the feeling few people in the Assembly take him seriously, which is unacceptable. Deputy Sandra James used the debate to launch into what was in my opinion little more than an embarrassingly stereotypical "all men are b**stards" rant - I don't know who hauled her up by pointing out that many men actually care about their families but well done them. Alderney Rep Arditti told us it wasn't really anything to do with Alderney and then spent ages giving his views only to abstain.

Perhaps the earlier sessions were better (I only listened to yesterday) but from what I heard it was far from a great debate.


As a little addendum to this post I contacted Deputy James directly about her comments in the debate, which at the time I considered offensive and prejudicial towards men.

She has since responded and I'm very grateful to her for clarifying her speech and views, which I'm delighted to say are very wise, well balanced and not prejudicial against men at all.

I'm happy to apologise to Deputy James for drawing the wrong conclusions and misunderstanding her intentions.


Good result,well done states, hopefully that will be it for a few years.


Well I cant really tell you why but ever since I was a small child I hate Sundays, probably because Sunday was so different, the clothes I wore, the food we ate, bath and hairwash day, in those days you only washed your hair once a week and a bath once a week, ready for school on Monday.I have always said I would prefer 2 Saturdays, so as you will realise I am for Sunday opening and freedom of choice.

It was when my mother was widowed that she was not keen on Sundays either, because it was such a lonely day, we tried not to make it like that for her,she invariably came to my house for the day, but recently have just spoken to a widow with no family and she told me she hated Sundays because life just seems to stop, so just think about people with no family and what a lonely day that is, she also does not like Christmas day for the same reason.


Sorry to hear this, loneliness is a horrible thing. Trouble is there are many that suffer loneliness all through the week as well so I don't see Sundays having much less scope for social side as this would have generally been large shops opening so I don't see how your mother would have been less lonely being able to shop. Social clubs and restaurants can open but drop-in centres or coffee mornings would hardly open on a Sunday.

Dare I suggest perhaps church?

Good result by the States.


Common sense prevails!


Typical States of Guernsey result.

Online trading will kill off most of the local shops unless added value can be found eg by opening hours changing. Many people including me work weekends so why not open the shops?

Terry Langlois

That is illogical thinking John. I agree that local shops need to add value in order to be able to compete with on-line shops.

But opening on Sundays is not "adding value", it is most likely "adding cost". On-line shops are open 24/7 so local shops can never compete by that route - they need to make it worthwhile the customer actually going to the shop to be served.

It is already a hard task for local retailers to survive and compete with internet prices, given the small margins in retail. But by adding costs through Sunday opening, it is likely to make it harder to compete.

I am pleased to see that quite a few more people are speaking up in support of 6 day shopping - not out of some religious conviction or a fanciful nostalgic idea that we are all reading books in peace and quiet on a Sunday, but out of a very modern concern for the state of the local economy and the security of local jobs.



So you think without STL to protect them, local shops will have to open Sundays or else go bust and if they close Sundays and others open they will also go bust. But the internet which is open 24/7 is no threat.

Are you religious by any chance?


John, people do not shop online in order to kill off local shops, they do so because of extortionate prices. Would Sunday opening reduce prices? No, it would obviously increase them still further. What do you care if you work weekends anyway? I'm a bit sick of hearing about all you people who work 24/7 and never have the opportunity to go shopping. Instead of changing Guernsey's way of life why not get a job with more convenient hours? Or at least a day off during the week to make up for all those weekends? Most shops close on Sundays, get over it.


Sunday opening would not necessarily increase prices.

If you can make enough extra sales to cover any extra costs then prices wouldn't have to change.

If the extra sales ( or lack of ) don't make enough then any sensible business just wouldn't open ....

I also enjoy the irony that you seem to vehemently oppose anything that might change your way of life ..... and then suggest that other people change theirs to fit in with yours ....


Have any local villages lost their idiot? Another poor soul who is so terribly busy they can't get to the shops anytime between 9-5 six days a week, without even a day off in lieu of Saturdays. Who are these wicked employers who make you work such extreme hours every week? You are one of those whinging that Guernsey needs to change, why not tell us all your sad story?


Beanjar, I can get to the shops fine during the week when I take a day off in place of the Sunday that I CHOOSE to work - a choice you want to continue preventing others from having.

I am not saying Guernsey HAS to change.I just don't follow most of the arguments made against change - like your assertion that Sunday opening would definitely increase prices, when I don't think that it definitely would .

However now that I know that anyone daring to try and make a reasoned argument against your viewpoint will just get abuse back in future I won't bother ....


OK , thanks to the comments on here I have worked out the secret to successful retailing in Guernsey.

It is stated almost as fact that opening on a Sunday would add costs but not result in any extra sales. So it would appear that the amount of sales in retail is not proportional to the amount of time a shop is open.

So, why bother opening even 6 days a week ? or 5 ?

Just open for a few hours 1 day a week

You will sell just as much .... but your costs would shrink to a fraction of their current levels.

And therefore profits should go through the roof ...

I am sadly sure that I must have made a huge mistake in my reasoning, ( or everybody would be doing this already ) so I look forward to having the flaws in this idea pointed out to me.

( just bear in mind that any flaw in my reasoning could be applied both ways ... )


I wouldn't mind paying a premium to shop locally, I already do.

Most of St Peter Port retail is dying off as they can't compete with online.

Local shops must bring added value services to survive.

I only hope your job is not in retail



You just dont get it, the whole day on a Sunday has this certain feel to it, that only when you are on your own will notice, a bit like Christmas Day, many people living alone hate Christmas Day for that very reason.

And for your information my mother was a regular church goer. Perhaps it was because she had so many special family days on a Sunday when my Dad was still alive and my family lived at home that made it worse who knows.


Hartley i agree why be against VOLUNTARY sun opening live and let live for gods goes for the friquet being only allowed to sell certaingoods its so ridiculous its laughable you cant even buya birthday card loads of areas taped off.I Just dont see what the problem is open if you want shop if you want yes ihave a family too and i work but this is 2012 not 1912 as i say live and let live .john sarre and other so called christians need to butt out valiette i agree with what your saying.



Wow, it's been a while since I've ready such a post devoid of coherent argument!

There would be no such thing as VOLUNTARY opening. As many have pointed out, once the large stores open, the small would be forced to in order to compete. They would have much more trouble absorbing the additional cost of Sunday opening and might sound the death knell for many busisses where margins are small anyway.

The old "it's 2012, not 1912" argument is as vacuous as "Satan did it" and should be dismissed - change for the sake of change is no good thing.

Not sure who John Sarre is, but Roy Sarre is as entitled to his opinion as you are - don't see why he should have to "butt out" simply because you disagree with him. And to insult his committment to Christianity when you can't even get his name right (making me assume you don't know him) says far more about you and your qualities, than it does him

The only thing I agree with is yes, taping off certain areas is a bit silly!!!


billythefish :-)

you complain about lack of coherent debate and then provide a post full of nonsense.

First of all regarding large and small shops, you are basically referring to large shops such as Waitrose versus small shops such as checkers xpress. The latter have developed their businesses by capitalising on STL and charge over the odds for goods to exploit the convenience. What's OK about that?

Your argument does not stack up against larger and smaller town shops either. Of course the UK shops will open on Sundays but only because they KNOW it will be profitable to do so. Some of the local shopkeepers who have spoken out to say that it would not be profitable are individuals who are religious and therefore have been disingenuous.

Secondly, this is not change for change's sake, this is change of a deeply flawed law which is discriminatory and abuses people's human rights for no good reason. Change for change sake came about when STL was introduced. It was not fit for the 20th century let alone 21st.

So on to religion. OMFG this gets up my nose. Any shopkeeper is entitled to their opinion and to keep their sacred day for the purpose they believe their god intended. We do not need a law for this. It is discrimination against other religions. So why prohibit others? The church itself has a vested interest in STL and I put it to you that the church is in fact a business. How about if non religious people decided that there should be a law to ban church trading on Sundays eh? Why should it be a special day to be reserved just to promote their business? Heaven forbid.


spartacus, BRILLIANT! if there had been a 'like' button i would have given you recommendation that way.



You are usually a person of reason so I'm surprised to read such an angry contribution.

The religion argument was a red herring that was blown out of all proportion by the "Satan" story. It was also used by the pro-requete lobby to convince naive people that the only ones opposed to change were a bunch of killjoy religious puritans who wanted to take away our freedom, cancel Christmas and force everyone into churches.

Here's the truth. Yes, many Christians opposed the trial (I wasn't one of them) but so did a lot of non-religious folk. I would suggest that many Christians who opposed the requete did so for the same reasons as the non-religious folk.

Before the requete, I wrote to all Deputies stating that I saw nothing in the Bible to support the "Sabbath" argument. I did have some concerns about the need for rest and family time however if these were adequately addressed I saw nothing wrong with the trial.

Deputy Le Tocq's speech made it clear that the strict "Sabbath" defence of the STL was not held by the majority of local Christians. I agree with him. Next time this debate comes up, the strict religious argument based on the "Sabbath" needs to be placed firmly on the fringes of this debate where it belongs.


I would of like to of seen some of the DIY stores open. I really cant see a problem with B/Q opening. Out of Town. Easy parking.

We already have the Coop with a store in Town open all day , M/S in St Martins.

Time to move forward but still keep the Sunday special.


alright billy the fish slip on the type meant Roy no need for the agression.Yes and as you say hes entitled his opinion .im entitled TO MINE.iT WAS him that started all this with his PUSHY RELIGOUS VIEWS.


Spartacus very very well put totally agree


Some of you like L and vanilla and sparticus are religion mad!This is nothing to do with church, Kevin Stewart doesn't stand for the church.The goverment voted to keep guernsey special, you wanna join a church thread to discuss your obsessions. The top bloke at church of england said he didnt care, the head one at the Catholics didnt care and PLP a local preacher didnt care. Hardly anybody goes to church anymore, you are all paranoid.


Oh my word.... Spartacus, you normally are fairly reasonable in your posts, but it looks as though you and L haven't properly read mine.

I wasn't siding either way. For what it's worth, I think that A day (and it has been Sunday, yes, for reasons of faith) set apart for family time/activities that don't require spending money is a thing to be treasured and not let go of. I actually think it is a shame that we have the law that we have. I don't recall for example seeing cars that have run out of petrol strewn all over the island prior to Sunday opening. I wish we COULD go back....

Anyway.... I do believe that if the larger shops open, the smaller ones would have to in order not to lose trade. I'm not surprised the shops that are open on Sunday charge more (if that is the case) - that is their choice, and we have the choice to not go there.

If you look closely at my paragraph on "1912 vs 2012" - you will note that I make no connection to this particular debate - I generally think that this type of argument is a poor one regardless of the subject. It was L who was using it as a reason to change the law - it is no reason to change any law IN ITSELF. That is all I was saying.

And the only "religious" point I was making, was I think it is offensive to refer to Roy Sarre and others as "so-called" Christians - that implies a knowledge of an idividual and a criticism of their personalities. Fine if you know them and the way they conduct themselves does not reflect their profession of faith - but it seemed clear that L does not and yet still chose to disparage. Again, that is all I was saying.

I like the idea of a debate on Church activities... not for this thread though! :)



I'm surprised at your naivete :-)

Does STL force people to set apart family time/activities? No

Does STL prohibit people from spending money on Sun? No

Does STL make Sunday special for everyone? No

Why not let people choose which day works best for them? Why try to force others to make a certain day special, sometimes at personal cost or inconvenience to them, just because that's what you want them to do? Not everyone wants the same thing so you have to allow freedom of choice as the default option, otherwise it is infringement of human rights.

Saturday is the busiest day of the week for most shops, Sunday would be the second busiest day. For maximising trading profits it would be better to have, say, a Tuesday trading law. The fact this has never been suggested proves this IS about religion,

It's just not on for people to inflict their religious values politically on others and to control the activities of others for that reason, just because it's what suits them. L's remark was not unduly personal and was justified in my opinion.


Sparty - you say "It’s just not on for people to inflict their religious values politically on others"

Even as a religious man I agree with this statement however was that really what happened? The decision was made in the States Assembly by Deputies, not by Roy Sarre or Walter Chapman - and looking at the list of those who voted contre, many of the names on the list don't strike me as devoutly religious types or the sort likely to be intimidated by threats of fire and brimstone from the La Villiaze church.

I would genuinely be interested to know how much influence religion had on the way Deputies voted. With perhaps one or two exceptions I suspect it was actually very little. Most of the arguments I heard in the Debate were about economics, Guernsey cultural tradition and the like.

As I said before, when it comes to the STL religion might have played a major part in the past but it is little more than a fringe argument now.



60 plus posts on a subject that will not be re-debated until 2015/16 at the earliest

Give it a rest and save your ammunition folks



I object to the political lobbying which took place on religious grounds as it was aggressive. At least one politician has commented on twitter that he believes the vote was influenced by those who shouted loudest.

I disagree with the view that deregulation will be economically detrimental. There is no evidence that Sunday restrictions are economically beneficial.

Guernsey cultural tradition involved everyone taking the day off on Thursdays for market day but I don't recall that ever needed to be enforced by law. Times change and culture evolves. I would support measures to improve our cultural identity but STL does nothing for this.

This law is about people wanting to stop others from going about their business for their own personal reasons and the protests for retaining the status quo have no rational basis to justify legal enforcement.


Yes you're right Ray - point taken. Sidearm duly holstered!

Neil Forman


This was always going to be a contentious issue. I am not bothered either way but it should be an even playing field.

In my opinion the religious argument should be set aside, we are a multi cultural society and religions differ.

As Spartacus states the Sunday Trading Law is discriminatory.

Your comment about not seeing cars running out of petrol prior to Sunday opening is wrong. I used to drive a recovery truck for a previous employer who had contracts for breakdown services. Many of these breakdowns were visitors running out of fuel. I used to carry fuel cans as a means to get them home ( which I could not charge for ) this came out of my own pocket. It was easier to give them the fuel rather than a lift and tow.

I can see both side of the argument but feel a trial period would have sorted this issue one way or the other.


I agree that the current law is confusing for some but the idea of allowing Sunday to become the same as every other day would have been a terrible thing and why are we deemed so ignorant to need an experiment to show that? Family life is already under a tremendous amount of strain and the economic benefits that Deputy Hadley quotes do not take into account the extra costs that such a move would ultimately generate, socially and financially. It is very easy to think the grass will be greener but sadly that is seldom the case, it is more often a different shade of the same thing. A human right? I for one (and for that matter so do my grown up children) want a day of the week when I can take stock of the passing weekdays whilst enjoying the relative peace and quiet that Sunday still affords. I grew up in a Guernsey when on Sunday; pubs were only open to serve drink with food, you could only get fuel for your boat, there were lots of corner shops all making a living and the island had a booming tourist trade, how on earth did I survive? ….

Heaven forbid……perhaps there is more to life than shopping? 