Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Friday, September 29, 2006

Downing Street here we come

A delegation of campaigners from Sheringham will be travelling to Downing Street on Tuesday to present a petition against the proposed Tesco store.

While it is unlikely the Prime Minister will intervene personally it is hoped the publicity will remind people that Tesco does not have the right to build wherever it chooses and that councillors do have the power to say no.

Small traders warn of threat from new Tesco

TRADERS are rallying together to save their businesses after the arrival of a new supermarket on a village shopping parade. The independent shopkeepers say their customer numbers are plummeting less than four weeks after Tesco Express opened in Ashtead, Surrey. The retail giant has replaced three shop units in Craddocks Parade, including the smaller One Stop convenience store. But traders on the parade say some customers are attracted to the convenience of being able to buy all their shopping at Tesco Express - to the detriment of independent shops. Allison Burrell, owner of Allison's Bakery, said she has already noticed customer numbers falling by "at least 10 per cent" since Tesco Express opened.
Percy Holmes,who runs a family butchers' shop said: "It has had an effect on the parade because people are coming in, not stopping, and looking to go straight out again. They aren't having a look around at the other shops."

Do you think shoppers who came to a Tesco store in Sheringham would behave differently? Of course not.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tesco redundancies

100's of Tesco staff in the supply chain across the country are being made redundant. Staff in shops are not being replaced. Tesco lorries now plain white instead of having Tesco advertising on. Checkout staff being replaced by self-service tills.

Do you think Tesco are feeling the backlash of people fed-up with Tescopoly?
Cheap goods are one thing, but good staff and service are worth a lot more.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This affects YOU

North Norfolk District Council has put together proposals for shaping the District over the next 15 years (the Local Development Framework (LDF)). For six weeks from 25 September, 2006, people will be able to make their feelings known about the proposals - proposals for things like where land can be used for industry, how much affordable housing will be provided, supporting town centres, the preservation of green spaces, the building of wind turbines, and much more besides. The LDF consists of two main documents: the Core Strategy, which contains District-wide policies, and Site Specific Proposals, which show what kind of use (like housing, industry or retail) will be preferred on individual sites.
The consultation will run from 25 September to 6 November, and will involve exhibitions in Cromer, Fakenham, Holt, Hoveton, North Walsham, Sheringham, Stalham and Wells-next-the-Sea, along with evening meetings at selected village halls across the District. People will be able to collect comment forms at these events. A comments form should be used, but the form can be submitted in a variety of way during the consultation period. All such comments will be in the public domain. Because it is a statutory consultation with strict rules imposed by the Government, no comments received outside those dates can be taken into account. The Core Strategy is due to be presented to the inspector in the spring of 2007, with the Site Specific Proposals to follow in September 2007

If you want to have a say about the future of Sheringham, now is your chance.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A reminder about Tesco

Just in case you have forgotten what kind of company we are talking about when we mention Tesco, why not read the transcript from the BBC Radio 4 programme Face the Facts which looked at how Tesco bends and even breaks the planning laws to get what it wants.
When the leader of our own council says "Unfortunately for the people - some of the people in Sheringham who really do not want a Tesco's that is bad news, I cannot foresee that a Tesco's will be able to be prevented from coming. Having said that they will have to go through the full planning procedure and it will be in open debate. But with the current position we find ourselves in I cannot see how Tesco's can be prevented from coming to Sheringham." then you know that democracy and big business do not go in the same sentence.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Congratulations to Sheringham in Bloom

The Sheringham in Bloom team have been awarded a Sliver award in the Anglia in Bloom competition. Sheringham also won the Best Conservation Award in East Anglia for the work done on Beeston Common and the Evening W.I. won a silver gilt award for their work on the “One “ railway station in Sheringham. Mike Pigott has been awarded the Ron Lacey Award for the Best in Bloom leader in East Anglia.

Well done to all the people who help make Sheringham look so attractive.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

75 per cent of public say no to Tesco

Plans to build a Tesco supermarket in Darlington town centre are on the verge of being rejected after overwhelming public opposition. The leader of Darlington Borough Council yesterday said that if widespread objection to Tesco's plans to build a development in the town did not change, the authority would oppose the scheme. After Tesco's plans were revealed last month, the council launched an unprecedented public consultation to gauge opinion across the borough.
But now, halfway through the six-week process, almost three-quarters of people who have given their views are against the plans. The consultation has included more than 20 roadshow events across the borough, with almost 30 still to come, and views have also been sent by e-mail and post. So far, more than 1,000 opinions have been submitted, and show 74 per cent of people are opposed to the scheme, with 21 per cent in favour, and five per cent undecided.
More than 86 per cent of e-mails were also against the plans, with 107 in opposition, and only 17 in support.
People power can affect council decisions, so if you haven't already let NNDC know your views on the Tesco proposal in Sheringham then you must do it now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Uncomfortably familiar!

Traders in a Co Antrim town have vowed to continue their fight against a planned Tesco superstore in the area. Tesco plans a 30,414sq ft store for Ballycastle but traders say it will kill the town's commercial heart. At a Moyle District Council special meeting on Thursday, both sides had their say. A traders' spokesman called on residents to join them in saying no to Tesco: "Join us in saying to Tesco, if you continue to try to site your new store on the edge of town, you will destroy the town and community we love. We have lived here for generations and we are proud of the spirit and the community of Ballycastle. We will not give that up for the sake of extra profits for faceless investors from London. We will oppose this application and will continue to campaign to keep the heart in Ballycastle."
At Thursday's meeting, Tesco's Tony Fletcher said the Leyland Heights store would "make food shopping in Ballycastle better".
Stressing that they are not against new developments, but are against the site, the traders questioned the council on claims that similar edge-of-town stores had destroyed other towns. In a statement, the traders reiterated that they "are not against Tesco coming to the town, but we are against the site that they have chosen... if this store goes ahead, many town centre stores will simply close. What will that do to Ballycastle? Why would tourists want to come to a town that's dead on its feet?"

Ireland gets a taste of the real Tesco

A Sunday Times investigation into price rigging at Tesco in Ireland has upset the supermarket firm.
"In reality, Tesco was treating consumers as chumps. It had raised the prices of a number of items prior to introducing the cuts. When The Sunday Times revealed this last week, it came under fire from Tesco’s public-relations stormtroopers. At one point the company’s spokesman asked “what is The Sunday Times’s agenda?” That’s easily answered. The government gave the supermarkets five months’ notice that the Groceries Order was being abolished. During that time the industry took the opportunity to hit the public with a series of inflationary price increases. Tesco decided to spend tens of thousands of euros in an advertising campaign to seek credit for handing back some of those extra profits.
But guys, it’s nothing personal. We’re going to do the same thing to anybody else who pulls a similar stunt. "

Well done to the Sunday Times in Ireland for not falling for the Tesco spin.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Anger over superstore plans delay

TESCO has come under fire for revealing plans to more than double the size of a store – days after the public consultation closed. The company lodged plans with the council to knock down its Havant,Portsmouth store and rebuild it as a Tesco Extra back in August. But it has taken bosses until this week to display the plans in the store – despite the formal consultation ending last Thursday.
Ray Cobbett, who is heading the Keep Shops Local campaign, carried out a survey at the Emsworth Food Festival last weekend and found an overwhelming majority against the plans.'Most agreed that a bigger Tesco would damage small shops in Hayling Island, Leigh Park, Emsworth and particularly Havant itself,' he said. 'But, most worryingly, most people didn't even know about the application.'

Big trouble over Tesco's little extra

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco may have to give part of its new store over to the local community after it broke planning rules. Two years ago council planners granted permission for the store to be built in Portwood, Stockport. But local businesses and residents were outraged when the supermarket ignored its planning agreement and built an extra 18,000 sq metres of floorspace - 20 per cent more than had been agreed in the original plan. Campaigners are now hailing a council decision rejecting an application by Tesco for retrospective planning permission to allow it to use the extra space. The planning application is now likely to go before the full council planning committee where it could yet be granted.
A Tesco spokesman said: "We are obviously disappointed. The last thing we want is the store pulled down. We would certainly consider other uses."

Store rethinks after appeal rebuff

Tesco will not confirm whether it will launch a High Court challenge to a Government inspector's decision to turn down its expansion plans for its Burnham, Somerset store. Tesco's proposal to double in size has been turned down after a public inquiry on the grounds that it was not in the local plan, and that it could be detrimental to Highbridge town centre.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Top food writer backs protest against plans for new Tesco

Unfortunately this isn't in relation to the store in Sheringham but one in Scotland. Joanna Blythman, author of Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets, is leading the fight against a plans to convert a former Meggetland petrol station in Craiglockhart into new shops. She said: "Tesco is often accused of bullying its way into neighbourhoods against the community's wishes and they now have the ideal opportunity to show that they are fulfilling their commitment to act as a 'good neighbour' by withdrawing from the site. Good neighbours do not steal business from existing businesses, cause a bottleneck of traffic congestion or settle where they are not wanted or needed."
Hear, hear!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tesco involved in more scandal

Plans to build a Tesco superstore in the centre of a North-East town took a dramatic twist last night when there were claims a rival supermarket scheme had been "kept secret". The Northern Echo has discovered that earlier this year, Asda presented its ideas to develop almost a quarter of Darlington town centre. But it was ruled out by the borough council - without consulting members or the public. Last night, councillors threatened to refer Darlington Borough Council to the district auditors, who could investigate any alleged financial mismanagement. The council has been negotiating with Tesco since 2003. The supermarket wants to demolish the town hall, build a superstore and 130 flats on the site. In return, it will build and fund a £14m town hall nearby.

How much influence did Tesco have on this decision?

Yarmouth attempts to save the High Street

Yarmouth Borough Council will be leading the way in bringing life back to Norfolk's town centres with a £55,000 study set to recommend retail moves back into the high street. The full 600-page report is still being digested by Yarmouth Borough Council officers but senior planner James Harland yesterday told the EDP that the main conclusion drawn was that more needed to be done to protect the town centre. The moves to increase town centre retail development were welcomed by senior county councillors yesterday, who said Yarmouth could provide an example to other Norfolk towns. Cabinet member for planning and transportation Adrian Gunson said: “I very much welcome attempts by the borough council to strengthen the retail centre of the town and I hope that Yarmouth will be successful. And Richard Rockliffe, cabinet member for economic development, added: “We need to do anything we can to reinforce what goes on in the centre of town.“If Yarmouth has found the magic formula I'm sure there will be a lot of other towns following in their footsteps, and we will support district, borough and town councils in their attempts to reinvigorate their centres.”

Let us hope that in ten years time we are not trying to reinvigorate the centre of Sheringham because we allowed a Tesco to be built on the edge of the town centre.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Supermarket concerns are voiced in Scotland

The Competition Commission has been in Scotland hearing evidence from farmers, grocers and environmentalists. You can find more on the BBC, the Herald has a more local view and also quotes Chris Jenkins, head of supermarkets at the Office of Fair Trading, who said the primary reason for referring the sector on this occasion was planning and land issues. John Drummond, chief executive of the Scottish Grocers Federation, said recent supermarket approvals showed that "the planning system is being made to work for developers rather than communities". At Dunbar, the local planning rejection had been overruled by the minister, while at Huntly two large stores were now serving only 4200 people and some town centre retailers were reporting takings down by 50%.

The Competition Commission expects to take two years to complete its investigations but is planning to publish a progress update before Christmas.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Get your car stickers now!

There are still some "Save our Sheringham" car window stickers available. You will by now have seen them on many cars and vans around Sheringham, why not nip into Paws and Claws in Station Road and collect one for yourself.

Every little hurts

This interesting article explores the power of the supermarkets and finds a rapacious monster at our doors. It looks at their impact on Sittingbourne in Kent and summaries its findings "Forty years ago Sittingbourne High Street like so many was vibrant. Local people could buy local products and had a variety of shops to choose from. Now like so many places it is in danger of becoming a Clone Town – devoid of character with the same few shops you can find anywhere. The rise of the supermarket has a large part to play in this story. It is not too late to stem the tide but time is running out."

There are lots more reasons given in the article for retaining our individual high streets. Well worth a read.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Is this good or bad news?

Tesco's bid to double the size of its store in Burham-on-Sea has been turned down by the Dept. of Communities and Local Govt. planning inspector. The proposal was 'called in' by the Government Office of the South West because it contradicted the council's planning policy. The local council leader said "From experience, it would seem that when an application of this size gets to government level an inspector will normally stick to planning law rather than listen to local views." In this case over 6,000 people signed a petition in favour of the extension.

So, is it good that the Govt stuck to planning law or bad that they ignored local opinion?

Blooming worried!

Just in case you missed it I have put a copy of a letter written by the Honorary Warden of Beeston Common to the North Norfolk News on the Save our Sheringham website. In it he says that the head judge warned that if we let Tesco into Sheringham our busy, vibrant town centre would certainly die. She added that we had something special here and that we should do everything in our power to prevent it being destroyed. This was not from some do-gooder, but from a County Councillor in Scotland who had witnessed first-hand the impact of superstores on small towns in her area.
We can only hope that our own councillors are finally getting the message.