Worried about the ‘Tesco effect’

Sir - They called it the ‘Tesco effect’ and for most small towns in Scotland it came accompanied by doom-laden warnings of empty high streets and bankrupt shops.

The inexorable advance of the superstore would, it was confidently predicted, wipe out small businesses and suck the lifeblood from local economies... Sunday Times Oct 2009

Is this a headline we want for Ballycastle, it’s not just in Scotland but down the country in the south and across in England the same story.

Tesco moves in, result... local shop closures, less employment, another ghost town and that’s not what attracts families like mine to seaside towns like Ballycastle.

‘There is much evidence to show that allowing large supermarkets to be built out of town in small towns has had a devastating effect on the towns.’ Shropshire star 2011

Yett, today in Ballycastle posters appear calling for another protest against Moyle Council and the planners putting stop to Tesco’s superstore coming to Ballycastle.

Do they not except they have been outvoted? Or is their vote greater than mine? It’s reported that more people signed a petition against Tesco’s than in favour of it, so why are they rallying a crowd?

The people behind the protests need to tell us what is so good about Tesco, especially if as the evidence shows that the result is our wee town will become local traderless,.

Are we missing something which explains the fervour with which the ‘pro Tesco’ people are fighting for Tesco and attacking local storekeepers and Chamber of Commerce.

It is also my understanding from what I have read about Chamber and Council in relation to Tesco’s ...is that neither is against Tesco’s they have been seeking negotiation about the size most suited for our seaside town.

This is the proper way to save a seaside town as shown by our councils in England & Scotland.

‘The key to the town’s relative success [averting a devastating effect on local traders] lay in the planning stage when limits were placed on what Tesco could do.

The superstore had planned to have a butcher’s, café and petrol station — all of which they were denied.

They were also limited to just 15 per cent non-food floor space....” Sunday Times Oct 2009

Read more: http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2011/05/05/tescos-plans-would-ruin-whitchurch/#ixzz1PovhHF38

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Ballycastle resident.