News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tesco Targets North Street

Charlie Bolton, Bristol's only Green Party Councillor, is attempting to prevent the opening of a Tesco store on North Street, Ashton (or is it Southville?)

His reasons are coherent and sensible and can be read on his blog here.

They are also unlikely to succeed - unless there is a massive movement from grass roots consumers to (a) oppose the plan and (b) to refuse to use the store if it does open.

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1 comment:

James Barlow said...

The objections are all largely lifestyle-oriented statements from those who are seeking "atmosphere", "independence", "sustainability" and "character" - all rather ill-defined criteria.

The difficulty with opposing Tesco stores is that they do offer enormous utility to local residents - i.e. longer opening hours, high availability of predictable goods and better prices.

Now if one were in the political game and really wanted to promote independent retailers then it could be done, but not by using the planning system as a means to prevent development that doesn't meet an arbitrary set of lifestyle criteria.

You'd have to recognise that the British tax & legal system is loaded down with complex regulations the inhibits small business formation. Tesco are of sufficient size that they can achieve economies of scale in regulatory compliance; economies that aren't available to your average independent grocer or organic fishmonger to use two examples of ethically-acceptable vendors given in the comments over at Charlie's blog.

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