Butchers, bakers or even candlestick makers could be in line to win 'Independent Shop of the Year' after a politician launched a contest this week.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Sutton and Cheam Paul Scully launched the Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park Independent Trader of the Year 2013 competition.

Shoppers can vote for their favourite traders as Mr Scully aims to show local retailers they are appreciated and to encourage people to visit them.

Anyone who votes will also be in with a chance of winning a £100 voucher to spend in the winning shop after the results are revealed next month.

Mr Scully said: "We have some fantastic independent shops in our local area which we need to use if we are to keep them. It takes hard work to survive on our high streets against the big names.

"This competition is a small way of letting our local retailers know how much we appreciate and support them and I hope everyone will spend a couple of minutes to vote for their favourite shop."

Your Local Guardian:

Bob Patel, owner of Fowlers Stationery in Worcester Park, talking to Paul Scully

Mr Scully has identified 343 shops in the area as being independent and is trying to visit as many of them as possible to drop off nomination packs.

Voting closes on October 17 and the winners will be revealed on October 22. If you want to vote or you are an independent trader and you have not had a nomination pack, you can visit www.suttonlocal.org.uk.