SIR Bob Geldof has attacked the proliferation of charity shops in the UK - blaming them for the decline of the traditional British 'high street'.

The Band Aid mastermind hit out yesterday (27DEC04) at the "ubiquitous" money-raising stores where the profits aid cancer research and famine relief.

Geldof says, "I live in a small town in Kent (south England) and a major supermarket set up shop on the outskirts and it denuded the town.

"We saw the ubiquitous charity shops sprouting everywhere which is the first sign of decline.

"If there was zero tolerance in policing then they would immediately raid charity shops and shut them down."

A spokesperson for British charity Oxfam, who have hundreds of British fund-raising stores, says, "We do not want to respond until we know exactly what was said because there is no way we want to get involved in a slanging match."

28/12/2004 12:57