Friday, 3 December 2010
Cheese and Grain meeting report
The speakers were Elizabeth Winkler, who's involved in the No Tescos In Stokes Croft campaign, Graham Burgess from Frome Civic Society, Frome resident and Guardian journalist John Harris - and Quentin Webster from St James's Investments (pictured). The latter parried a huge number of questions and points raised by people at the meeting, and voiced some very interesting opinions.
St James's Investments has a long history of working with Tesco - recently, for example, the two companies came together to work on a new Tesco at the Bath Press site in Bath. But Webster expressed a very interesting set of views about Tesco, questioning in particular their treatment of local communities.
Nonetheless, a new Tesco in Frome was not ruled out. Webster talked about the importance of consultation, but said that a large supermarket - "slightly smaller" than the much-maligned Tesco in Shepton Mallet - was effectively non-negotiable. Judging by many contributions from the floor, irrespective of which supermarket Frome may actually get - and we can presumably rule out Asda, Sainsbury's and Lidl - it is this prospect that causes people such worry.