However, Paul Stafford, outgoing chairman of the National Association of Launderettes (NALI) which organised the petition, said that MPs were now much better informed about the industry.

Presenting his final report, Mr Stafford said: “Although NALI’s spirited campaign against the introduction of CCL has not resulted in launderettes being exempted from the charge, it has led to a number of MPs publicly demonstrating a more positive approach to the industry and its problems.” NALI had argued that launderettes performed a vital public health role, said Mr Stafford.

He continued: “There has never been a more important time for NALI to be recognised as being there for its members and for the industry”.

The levy was not the only problem for members, they also had to deal with the increase in the minimum wage, the launch of stakeholder pensions and escalating gas and water charges.

NALI is to accept on-premise laundries as associate members following the HSE ruling which grouped them in the same category as launderettes.