MP MICHAEL Dugher has encouraged people to support their local markets.

Speaking at the start of the Love Your Local Market fortnight, the MP is also launching a campaign calling on the government to enact a temporary cut in VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent, giving struggling retailers a boost and putting money back into family pockets.

He wants them to introduce a retail diversity planning clause, which would put communities in charge of the future of their local high streets. Local people and local retailers would have a say on any retail plans for their area, giving them the power to put the heart back into their high street.

The Barnsley East MP has also urged a copy of Labour’s empty shops initiative, would would enable councils to pursue uses for empty shops and reinvigorate high-streets, rather than leaving them empty.

“During Love Your Local Market fortnight, I would encourage people to support their local markets and high streets," he said. "As a regular visitor to Hoyland and Wombwell markets I understand how important they are to support and what a shame it would be to see them disappearing from our streets.

"The government should enact a temporary VAT cut and give local people a real say over the future of their high street."