A petition calling for a ban on shops opening on Boxing Day has attracted more than 200,000 signatures – including 100,000 over the last three days.The petition was created last month by Ian Lapworth, a baker and former DJ from Kettering, who argues that the Christmas holiday should be respected by retailers so that staff can have “some decent family time to relax and enjoy the festivities like everyone else.”Writing on Change.org, where the petition is hosted, Mr Lapworth says: “Most retail workers are on the go up to Christmas Eve, then back on Boxing Day. Sometimes they have no choice.”We managed 30 and 40 years ago when shops were sometimes shut for a whole week. Let’s get back to the way it was.”Forget making money for one day, let’s concentrate on making more memories with the ones we love.”Among the petitions’ thousands of signatories are a large number of retail workers, many of whom left messages voicing their agreement. Mr Lapworth plans to send the petition to the 10 Downing Street – but there are indications his plea will not be successful.A similar petition launched last year, also calling for shops to remain closed on Boxing Day, received an official response from the Government saying: “We do not believe it is for central Government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.” Hollie Lambton from Kimberley wrote: “Every year I’ve been working, I’ve had to work Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I’m fed up of it.”I have family traditions that I can’t do anymore and I want things to go back the way they used to be. Shops should be shut for a week or at least Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.” Elaine Wormald from South Kirkby said: “I used to work in a shop the was open until 10pm on Xmas eve, closed on Xmas day and open again at 10 am Boxing day. It is so unfair on the staff lots of whom would prefer to stay at home with their young families.”If all the stores agreed not to open on Boxing day then none of them are losing any trade to another store. Common sense really, but when did that ever matter to money grabbing store owners.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
RETIRED FIREFIGHTER AND head of the IFESA representative group John Kidd is planning to run as a local election candidate in Dublin.Kidd is currently involved in a court action against Dublin City Council, calling for the breathing equipment used by firefighters to be withdrawn pending a full investigation. This follows reports of a number of failures.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, he said the board of his group has been pushing for him to run, having previously run as an indepdent candidate in the Dublin west by-election in 2011, receiving 311 votes in total.He said his main policy will centre on transparency in the public service.“The whistleblower legislation, we want that spread to all public sector workers,” he commented. “If more people are protected, they’ll be willing to step forward about the waste of taxpayer’s money.”At the moment, people are afraid to do it because it means they won’t get promoted and it’ll destroy your career.” The union chief has not decided which area he will run in but it is likely to be Dublin 4.Kidd said he will also be advocating reforms to minimise the impact of new taxes and charges on middle-income earners like young couples and pensioners, calling for taxes to be based on a family’s income.“People in the middle seem to be paying everything and they’re really struggling,” he said. “I’m not to the left, not to the right, I’m in the middle – I believe in fair play and that’s not what’s happening now.”The former firefighter has been banned from entering all Dublin fire stations, following disputes with management but if he’s elected, he said there’ll be no stopping him in the council.“They can bar you out of the fire stations but they can’t bar you when you’re elected, they have to deal with you,” he said.Read: Firefighter group brings council to court over failed breathing apparatus sets>Read: Firefighter union chief says he’s been barred from all Dublin fire stations> I want us to have honesty and transparency and have a properly run country.The ordinary nurse, firefighters, guard is just out there trying to do their job and if money that’s wasted could be protected, it could be used for cancer services, for the mental health services they’re closing down.”