Saturday, 28 November 2009

Other considerations and resources

"Our market share of UK retailing is 12.5% - that leaves 87.5% to go after"
Terry Leahy, Tesco Chief Executive, quoted in Management Today 1

TESCO - A Corporate Profile (parts 1-4)

20,000 Jobs Created, thousands of livelihoods destroyed
Tesco now controls over 30% of the grocery market in the UK. In 2009, the supermarket chain announced profits of over £3bn. Growing evidence indicates that Tesco's success is partly based on trading practices that are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment.
Our demands
The Tescopoly Alliance is calling for:
- A block on any new take-overs by Tesco or other major supermarkets.
- Stronger planning policies to protect local shops and High Streets.
- A legally binding supermarket code of practice to ensure that all farmers, at home and overseas, are treated fairly.
- An independent watchdog with teeth to protect the interests of consumers, farmers and small retailers.
- Rules to protect workers' rights at home and overseas.
"Unbelievable though it may be, Tesco is actually looking to make job cuts on the day it claims to be the consumers' friend. We do not accept these cuts are either necessary or ethical. How can a multi-billion pound outfit attack the pay, terms and conditions of those people it relies on to get its goods to the stores?"
Ron Webb, T&G national secretary for transport
In Chard in March 2006 local GMB activists organised a demonstration outside Tesco when the company pulling a contract from a local employer resulted in 850 job losses in the South West, and 500 in Chard alone.

"Tesco has been among the most active retailers testing RFID technology."
-RFID Journal

"This website reveals the shocking truth about Tesco's serious and widespread overcharging of its customers by leaving out-of-date prices and offers on display in stores."

Town ‘lost £3.5 million trade to Tesco’

Rivals estimate that Tesco's Slough store has benefited from an extra £200,000 a week of sales while the Co-op store has been closed.

Concerned Tesco community (lots of ex-employees)

Cambridge campaign against the 14th Tesco store in the area, which wasted lots of Tesco's money and has prevented them (so far) from having an alcohol license or much custom

Did you know that Tesco is heavily subsidised? - - Tesco

Do we need it (whether we want it or not)?

This is one of the main questions that the Public Inquiry will be asking, whether or not Glastonbury actually 'needs' another supermarket, or even a superstore.
What is very interesting is that many of the issues of this application relate to national planning issues, hence the intervention by the Secretary of State.

Re: The Application by Avalon Plastics
Location: Wirral Park Road, Glastonbury
Proposal: erection of A1 Retail Foodstore

In order to justify the proposal, Mendip's 'Development Control' officer Edward Baker, and his colleagues, must demonstrate that it conforms with the policies and provisions of the draft RSS, the current RSS (RPG10), the Mendip Local Plan and the Somerset & Exmoor NP Joint Structure Plan Review

Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS6): Planning for Town Centres
- Demonstrate that there is a need, both qualitative and quantitative
- Impact on the existing centres
- Scale as relating to function and role
- Accessible by a choice of transport methods, including impact on overall distance and effect on levels of local traffic and congestion
- Impact on physical regeneration, employment, economic growth and social inclusion

Planning Policy Guidance 13 (PPG13)
- Need for development which:
- promotes sustainable transport choices
- promotes access to jobs, shopping, leisure facilities & services, by public transport, cycling and pedestrians
- reduces the need for travel, especially by car

Current Regional Planning Guidance (RPG10)
(various downloadable material available)

Mendip District Local Plan & The Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan
- Building in Quality (Section 4) - General development control policies applying to all developments (design, amenity, protection of open spaces, access requirements, landscaping, infrastructure etc) and polices relating to development in specific areas (eg close to sewage works) or to certain forms of development
- Supporting the Mendip Economy (Section 5) - Employment policies, agricultural diversification, agricultural workers dwellings, tourism uses and home working
- Promoting Town Centre Vitality (Section 6) - Retailing and town centre uses
- Environmental Assets (Section 7) - Nature conservation, landscape, green belt, archaeology, water and flooding, agricultural land, conservation areas and listed buildings
- Managing Energy and Resource Demand (Section 8) - energy conservation, renewable energy, water conservation, recycling of building materials
- Meeting the Community' Social Needs (Section 9) - Housing including affordable housing, density, recreational provision, sites for gypsies and other travelling people, Leisure, Community Facilities including village facilities, Transport including car parking requirements, accessibility, protection of transport routes and car parks
In pursuance of Article 14 of the 1995 Order, the Secretary of State hereby directs the Council not to grant planning permission for any development which is the same kind as that which is the subject of the application referred to above on any land which forms part of, or includes, the site to which the application relates until the Secretary of State has issued her decision on that application.
(so these issues also refer to the new Sainsbury's supermarket plan for Wells)

Comments and corrections are welcome!

Public Inquiry details

The Public Inquiry is to be held in early 2010, after the Planning Inspectorate has reviewed all submissions.
Submissions to the Inspectorate must be made by 21st December 2009.
These 'Statements of Case' (3 copies) must be sent to the following address:

FAO. Gavin Findlay
The Planning Inspectorate
4/03 Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay

As there are only 3 weeks before the submission deadline, folk wishing to submit considerations/evidence to the Inquiry would be prudent to gather their information very soon.
Also, do please let this site know about submissions of evidence.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

MDC site was 'down' before the deadline

One question that I've had about the planning and objection process was regarding the fact that Mendip District Council's page for submission of objections to the proposal was 'down' for 4 days before the objection deadline. I found this out by telephoning the office during working hours whereupon I found out that in order to submit my objection I had to write it in an email and send it, to a specified email address (not a normal MDC address) before the deadline. I duly did this and received an acknowledgment.
I have subsequently met a number of people who tried to get their objections in before the deadline and were unable to.
If I have met a small number it is probably the case that there are many more objectors who were unable to voice their complaints.
Not only that but there is the issue of why didn't MDC post the fact of the malfunctioning objection page on their site so as to ensure that there was proper 'democracy' in the process? They could so easily have warned folk about the problem and asked for everyone wishing to post objections to do so by email.
But it seems that the deadline was in fact extended. Unfortunately, a number of people didn't realise this so never posted objections.

Mendip Councillors out-voted the Planning Department (who opposed the plan), with one vote against and one abstention (as I recall).
One can't help wondering why the Planning Dept were so opposed to the plan? Was it because of the many problems with the plan and its access provisions? Was the knowledge of potential job-losses, which is according to national statistics and averages rather than the vague claim about 'secured' jobs one of the reasons for objection? Could it be that Planning Officers have seen only too clearly what the consequences of a Tesco super-store has been for Shepton Mallet (where the M.D.C offices are) and its local economy?

There may be folk out there with interesting answers...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Public Inquiry

Recent news about the Tesco fiasco is that the plan has been 'called in' by the Secretary of State, which means it will go to a Public Inquiry. This will of course give time for the many people who object to the plan to expand the information campaign, to help create a well-informed majority.

Some people may be asking why the plan has been 'called-in'.

It seems that the plan has contravened planning laws by its lack of provision for proper access, including no pedestrian or bicycle access, an access road which adds 0.5 km each way to the journey (calculated as averaging 700,000 kms per year), and the need for the widening of the Street Road (cutting into Wearyall Hill) which must be paid for. All of these aspects go against the aspirations of 'Transition' Somerset and of course are against the general policy of reduction of consumption and emissions, especially of fossil fuels.

More about this issue as it comes in...

Friday, 6 November 2009

Tesco in Glastonbury

This is a site for discussion about the new Tesco superstore planning application, submitted by Avalon Plastics, to be built on the outskirts of Glastonbury.

What do you know about the company?
What opinion do you have about it?
Did you object to the proposal?
What problems do you foresee about having a new superstore in the area?
Is there anything that can be done about it?

Please join this blog and post your articles and ideas.

And please do download any of the images and print them for displaying in prominent places (like your front window!)