Save our Sheringham - Say NO to Tesco

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

See the objections.

Some of the detailed objections sent to the Council are now available on the Save Our Sheringham website.

Objections to the Planning and Retail Assessment submitted by Tesco are available here and objections to the Traffic Assessment are here.

They are great reading if you can't sleep, but they also show how easy it would be for the council to turn down the application as it doesn't satisfy all the necessary planning criteria.

Councillors get chance to appear on film.

Films of Record have requested permission to film the West Area Development Committe when they meet to determine the Tesco planning application for Sheringham. This would be part of a programme on planning to be shown on ITV.

The Council says it is as open as possible when dealing with planning issuues but is worried the cameras will affect the conduct of the meeting and that a long meeting could be condensed into a few minutes of the programme.

The council had hoped to decide the application on Friday 8th June but they think this is too soon to address some outstanding issues.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Competition Commission finally gets tough.

The Competition Commission has been forced to issue subpoenas to a raft of retail industry trade bodies in a desperate attempt to secure evidence in its drawn-out probe into the supermarket sector. The rare move highlights just how difficult the commission has found it to gather information in its investigation. The trade bodies, most of which consist of suppliers to the "big four" grocers, are believed to have been reluctant to come forward with evidence lest they upset the supermarkets with whom they do business.
Peter Freeman, the commission's chairman, has already pushed back the publication of the anti-trust body's provisional findings from next month to September due to the volume of work involved. This latest move highlights just how sensitive the issues surrounding retailer-supplier relations are. The commission sent legally binding Section 109 letters to a "small number" of trade bodies last week, a spokesman confirmed. Under the Enterprise Act, the letters require the organisations to submit information they have regarding their members' relationship with retailers. "This is not something we do lightly. But it gets to a point when you believe that there is relevant information that you haven't been able to get. The information we are after relates to a full range of supplier issues," said the spokesman.
The Food & Drink Federation is believed to be among the bodies that have received the letters. However, the National Farmers' Union is not.

Tesco - cheap at any price

Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, is sending CDs and DVDs on a round journey of almost 1,400 miles in order to exploit a tax loophole that allows customers to avoid paying VAT.
The disclosure is likely to spark allegations of hypocrisy - last year Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy unveiled a "green plan" and pledged to reduce the retailer's carbon footprint. Tesco is due to launch its latest green initiative today, with the announcement that customers will be able to recycle paper-based food cartons in 100 stores. Tesco has also pledged to develop a carbon labelling scheme, which will show the carbon footprint of individual products. However, Tesco is shipping CDs and DVDs to Switzerland and back in order to save customers as little as £1.56 on a DVD, despite claiming in its corporate responsibility review that it was "taking practical steps to reduce ... energy use and greenhouse gas emissions". is one of a number of online retailers, including Asda and Amazon, that ships CDs and DVDs to customers from outside the EU in order to exploit a tax loophole. Because the products are worth less than £18 they qualify for "low value consignment relief" and do not attract the usual 17.5pc VAT. The loophole means that the retailer can undercut rivals and offer the latest DVDs for as little as £8.97. Earlier this year was forced to close its operation in Jersey after the Channel Island government refused to renew its licence following pressure from the UK authorities.
Although the retailer is now "posting" the DVDs and CDs from Zurich, it has no capability to process the orders in Switzerland. It is understood that the orders are being processed and the envelopes packed in west London by distribution firm EUK before being shipped to Zurich.
MP Jim Dowd, who is chairman of the All-Party parliamentary group for small shops, said: "Small retailers just don't have a chance. This is not in the public interest and it is not fair competition. If Tesco thought it was cheaper to ship CDs to Tanzania and back I'm pretty sure it would."
Tesco said: " Following changes in local legislation in Jersey and so that we can continue to offer these great prices to our customers, the fulfilment operation of this business is now based in Switzerland."