A panel of experts will draw up plans to revive town centres under a commission launched on Monday by Labour.

The party published figures showing that over the last decade, high streets have lost 9,775 shops, 5,785 pubs, 7,400 bank branches and 1,195 libraries.

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds unveils Labour's six-month Commission on Rebuilding Our High Streets, bringing together retail chiefs, hospitality bosses and a union supremo.

They include Peter Kinsella of Liverpool restaurant Lunya, Karen Jones of Prezzo and Usdaw boss Paddy Lillis.

Writing exclusively in the Mirror, Ms Dodds says: “The Tories don’t care what happens to our high streets.

“We want to listen to the people that do: local communities and experts.

“We need to act now to rebuild Britain’s high streets, to give our children and grandchildren safe spaces to enjoy, and restore pride in our town centres.”

The move is a boost for the Mirror's High Street Fightback and Shop for Britain campaigns.

Promising “a bright future for our high streets”, Ms Dodds will launch the commission on a visit to Dewsbury, West Yorks – one of the Red Wall seats Labour must win if it is to form a government.

She said: “I’m delighted to be announcing the Rebuilding Our High Streets commission today and I want to thank everyone involved for agreeing to take part.

“Our high streets have been through a gruelling year, and Conservative changes to planning laws and their failure to reform the broken business rates system mean there are more challenges ahead.

“Labour is determined to deliver a brighter future for our high streets as part of our mission to make Britain the best place to grow up and grow old in.

“That doesn’t mean harking back to a vision of the past, but finding ways to make our town centres places we can be proud of and where communities can come together.

“This Commission will offer independent advice to Labour on how we achieve that.”

The Commission will meet regularly over the next six months to offer independent advice to the party on how high streets can be supported to thrive as places for people to shop, socialise, meet, work and live.

It will also issue recommendations on bringing empty shops back into use, how to level the playing field between traditional retail businesses and online firms, and how to promote entrepreneurship on high streets.

Also on the panel are Michael Meadows of British Land, Peter Holbrook of Social Enterprise UK and Tricia Gilby of Chesterfield Borough Council.

"The Tories don’t care what happens to our high streets"

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds writes exclusively for the Mirror.

Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Britain's high streets aren’t just places to buy and sell things – they are the beating heart of our communities.

People couldn’t wait for shops to reopen. They couldn’t wait to get back to the places they love – and spend time with the people they love.

But even before Covid hit, our high streets were suffering.

Over the last 10 years of Tory rule, we’ve lost nearly 10,000 shops, 8,000 pubs and 2,000 libraries.

No one wants to turn the clock back on online shopping. But changes to how we shop shouldn’t mean losing our town centres for good.

We should be thinking about the high streets of the future, starting with what local people want and need.

But that’s not what the Conservatives are doing.

They’re changing planning rules to make it easier for big developers to turn shops into poky flats – and local people won’t get a say.

They’ve done nothing to help high street stores cope with business rate bills.

And they’re bringing in a whopping tax break for Amazon and other tech giants who already don’t pay enough.

It’s typical of the Tories – leaving people behind, letting them sink or swim.

Labour wants to see a brighter future for our high streets. That’s why we’re launching a new Rebuilding Our High Streets Commission on Monday.

It will bring together experts from retail, leisure and hospitality, as well as the trade union movement, local government, cooperative and social enterprise sectors.

The Tories don’t care what happens to our high streets. We want to listen to the people that do: local communities and experts.

We need to act now to rebuild Britain’s high streets, to give our children and grandchildren safe spaces to enjoy, and restore pride in our town centres.