Friday, 24 January 2014

Matt Henshaw in the Leicester Mercury protesting again Tesco ...

Tesco store for Clarendon Park: 200 attend meeting to say no to plan
By Leicester Mercury | Posted: January 08, 2014

By Tom Mack


About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park

About 200 people attended the meeting to debate Tesco's plan to open a shop in Clarendon Park
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About 200 people attended a meeting to tell Tesco they did not want a new supermarket in Clarendon Park, Leicester.

The company has said it plans to take on Sainsbury’s and the Co-op by opening a branch at the former Barclay’s Bank in Queens Road.

But residents are worried about the fate of small independent traders, the dangers of delivery vehicles and the headache of extra parking problems in the area.

A meeting, chaired by Leicester Mercury editor Richard Bettsworth, took place at Avenue Primary School on Tuesday night and Tesco corporate affairs manager Simon Petar attended, along with about 200 members of the public.

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Mr Petar revealed that the company’s plans for the shop were already at an advanced stage, with work taking place inside the building to remove asbestos.

Several people at the meeting, including Ian Measures, questioned what power they really had to stop the shop from opening.

Mr Measures, 30, said: “How many people would it take to say no?”

But Mr Petar said his job was to listen to local people and “take on criticism to improve” Tesco’s plan, rather than consider whether Tesco should give up.

He said: “I appreciate there are those that will not want to shop in our store but I know there are those that would - the majority of people.”

He said the recent petition with 2,700 signatures objecting to the store was “impressive” but had not put the supermarket chain off.

He said: “It’s a fantastic campaign [against Tesco] but there are those who signed that petition who will be in the shop.”

He said people were welcome to vote with their feet by not using the Tesco Express when it opens.

Local resident Jem Coady, 65, told Mr Petar: “It’s disingenuous to say we can stop Tesco by not shopping there.

“People who shop there are likely to be the transient populations of students.

“The fact they shop in your store will affect local businesses.

“What’s going to be the affect on local businesses that don’t have the clout Tesco has?”

Mr Petar replied that Tesco would be competing with the Co-op and Sainsbury’s, which both have stores in Queens Road.

Matt Henshaw, 26, accused Tesco of turning the Sainsbury’s on Bede Park, Leicester, into a “derelict” building by opening a store opposite.

Harry Amlani told the meeting his store Ram News, near to Leicester Railway Station, lost 80 per cent of its takings and was forced to close after Tesco opened in London Road.

He said: “Tesco is going to destroy most of the independent shops.”

One woman did stand up and tell the meeting she wanted the store.

She said: “There are lots of people in the area who probably do want it.”

A man from the audience shouted in response: “But they’re not here.”

A poll taken at the meeting saw two votes in favour of the store and about 200 against.

The meeting ended with a threat from local campaigner Mags Lewis, who said: “We hope [Tesco] will change their minds before the PR disaster we are planning unfolds.”



Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Tesco/story-20414662-detail/story.html#ixzz2rKIgW5jD