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£5bn recovery plan for the High Street is a start, but we need bigger ideas to save our shops

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Like millions of us with lockdown DIY hair disasters, one of our first thoughts upon hearing the Prime Minister’s roadmap to recovery was to book a hair appointment.

My independent hairdresser told me she was already booked up for days after 12 April, while my partner’s hair chain was declining to take any bookings at all. They did not trust that reopening would materialise, whereas my lovely salon’s desperation is blind optimism.

After 16 years of faultless, friendly service, I care about my salon a lot. I know the staff have suffered both financially and emotionally.

Furlough is based on base salaries and they are hurting. So, too, is their mental health. Like so many, they need the human contact of work and cannot wait to be moaning again about difficult customers and being on their feet all day.

But my........

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