|Cllr Ian Tucker "Taking the campaign to|
the traders on the front line"
Councillor Ian Tucker (Labour,Dunwear) has undertaken to contact Town centre traders to find out their views on the impending Tesco development. Ian has recently been elected to be the Town Councils representative on the BRI (Bridgwater Retail Initiative) and has been in constant communication with a growing number of traders since his appointment.
Cllr Tucker has urged Traders to make their views about Tescos known to the Planners who will be meeting at the end of November to discuss whether or not to support Tescos application.
The first major response came today from David Coles of Past & Present Furniture Store in Monmouth Street
Mr Coles said "My views have always been clear about Tesco and they are that we do not need or want an even bigger supermarket than any already in place. It is laughable to say that 62.3% of Bridgwater residents are in favour and it is simply manipulation of statistics. The amount of spin doctoring about the starry eyed Bridgwater folk virtually begging Tesco to come is Alistair Campbell esque! I ran a straw poll over a couple of months at my shop earlier this year, asking people if they wanted another large supermarket in the town, off centre. The interesting thing was I never had one absolute positive yes. The one person who did not give a negative response was suffering from the usual Bridgwater apathy and didn’t really care either way."
"This is NOT some 'benevolent local trader."
"The thing I find really irritating is the naivety of the public at large believing that this is actually real competition to the other big players in town which will drive down prices, this is simply a myth. This will simply put pressure on medium and small enterprise in the rest of the centre and cause closures of further businesses. I can easily envisage the loss of the likes of WH Smith and even some of the Angel place occupants, even Boots may be lured away from Fore Street at best, gone at worst Superdrug similarly not to mention the independents out in the town. The other joke is about the money that will now not leak from the town by being spent at Tesco. This is not some benevolent local trader, the money made is not staying and being spent here, apart from some from the low wages of the staff, which currently do not meet the living wage standard of £7.20per hour. A good proportion of the 260 mostly part time jobs created will replace employment lost elsewhere through closures and efficiency pressures due to this development, but at least the members of staff will benefit from “extended organ donation leave” (what the hell is that all about!!)."
|David Coles "We need Leisure facilities |
and not supermarkets"
"Traffic impact Seriously underestimated"
Mr Cole continued "I feel that the traffic impact has been seriously underestimated and again it is ridiculous to suggest that there will not be a “significant increase in traffic on the network as it already exists and is currently going elsewhere”. Have the council given real consideration to the impact on the Canon roundabout at busy times? Currently the traffic queues across the roundabout as it backs up on the Clink with traffic trying to get to the Sainsbury and Wickes sites and turning left to go to ASDA. Throw in all of the festive or bank holiday type traffic with the new Tesco traffic plus Hinkley point project traffic and hey presto, a town that no one in their right mind would come within 5 miles of. It will be very interesting to see what happens with the proposed link road between the Clink and Leggar, as I can foresee Sainsbury having an influence as to whether this actually happens, and I am sure they will be like Asda and Morrisons, welcoming Tesco with open arms!"
"If we want to have nothing but supermarkets...."
"We have all seen the disastrous effect of ASDA on Eastover and this will be the same at the top end of town. If we want to have nothing but supermarkets and cafes then full steam ahead and watch the rest of the town die away. I for one will not be crossing the threshold of this development."
"Thinking in terms of the bigger picture, this could also undermine any efforts towards the Eastover triangle and the possibility of partial pedestrianisation of East Quay/Riverfront as we will have such huge traffic bottlenecks that it becomes impossible to close off any existing routes. "
"Shame on Doug Bamsey"
"I think sadly it is inevitable that this will happen and shame on Doug Bamsey for persuading the executive that this is the best option for Bridgwater. If I am right in believing that our population is estimated to increase to 80000 by 2020 we need leisure facilities not supermarkets and an infrastructure that can cope with it."