“The campaign to promote local independent shops and oppose Tesco plans to expand their empire in Weston is well underway,” says Mike Bell, organiser of Shop Weston.
“I’ve been asked to point out that there are in fact FIVE Tesco stores in Weston already – the main Tesco superstore, three Tesco Express stores in Oldmixon, Worle and Locking Castle. Many people don’t realise that Tesco also own the One Stop store in Locking Road – so that’s five stores in total.
“Now they want two more in Boulevard and Whitecross Road. Surely enough is enough? I have nothing against Tesco as such, I use their main store from time to time like many local residents. But that doesn’t mean I want every store in town to be a Tesco.
Please keep supporting the campaign and thanks for all your help and information so far.”
Plans to open at least two new Tesco Express stores in Weston-super-Mare have been condemned by the town’s Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Mike Bell as he launched a new campaign to stop what he described as an “invasion” by Tesco.
Tesco are currently seeking planning consents to open a new store at 10 Boulevard and at Whitecross Garage on the junction of Whitecross Road and Severn Road in the town. The two new stores will sit alongside existing Tesco Express stores at Oldmixon and Locking Castle and the main Tesco store in the town centre.
Mike Bell said: “This is nothing short of an invasion by Tesco who seem intent on driving out all competition and turning Weston into a Tesco Town. The proposed new stores – in the Boulevard, adjacent to an existing Martin McColl store and in Severn Road, close to the Co-Op store – seem to have been deliberately chosen to directly impact on existing retailers.
“You can only draw the conclusion that their interest lies not in serving the local community, but more in grabbing more of the local market by forcing independent traders out of business. This will result in less choice locally and could well discourage new businesses from opening up in the area.
“Independent shops are the glue that hold communities together. Independent newsagents, grocers, convenience or specialist shops are often family run businesses and when they have to close down it is not only the loss of that family’s livelihood at stake, but the loss of local employment and a local amenity as well as a blow to the community identity.
“With a large store in the town centre and two Tesco Express outlets already, these two new developments are unwarranted, unwanted and will have a dramatic negative impact on a number of local businesses. They must be stopped.”
Mr Bell has written to North Somerset Council urging them as planning authority to resist the applications for new Tesco Stores. He has also written to the Chief Executive of Tesco, Sir Terry Leahy, asking what consultation the firm has undertaken with the local community to establish a need for these stores in the town.