As this site heads to around 1000 visitors, some amazing news – our local shop, Londis, has an online presence with a little page on Facebook – show them your support as they share recipes and news at www.facebook.com/LondisWarleyHill
We’ve not taken the time to study in detail many of the comments submitted to this site until today.
And there are A LOT!
So, if you’ve a few moments, please take a little while to review the following, we’ll be emailing our friends at the council, and Tesco, and of course our MP and Minister for Communities and Local Government so they can be sure what the local community think of the shopping monster arriving on Warley Hill:
“If this goes ahead it will also signal the end of the Post Office and general store futher up the Hill.”
“Traffic on Warley Hill is bad enough as it is but this proposal would just increase the problems. Bad for everyone in the local area.”
“Well done for trying to stop this bully destroying our local trade.”
“This will move the foot fall of shoppers (and their cars) up to the top end of the hill, taking trade away from the main shops next to the station, as people will not be bothered to walk the short distance down. That will kill trade on the hill and the net result will be a loss of total job numbers not a gain as claimed by Tescos.”
“A Tesco on Warley Hill is not needed or wanted.”
“Please add my name to the petition to oppose the opening of a new Tesco Express on Warley Hill.
Not only do supermarket chains put smaller, local shops out of business but they regularly put the food producers themselves out of business. Their business model is commercial vandalism and best, bordering on terrorism at its worst.”
“Many small shopholders stand to be pushed out of business by this one big company.”
“The service to the local community provided by these small shops has been personal and impressive. They work all hours, and provide excellent value goods – certain items priced much more competitively than the major supermarkets.”
“The local area is already extremely well served by the small shops around Brentwood station, on Warley Hill and at Keys Hall.”
“Tesco has more than enough stores without wrecking these small businesses. I am totally opposed to this development.”
“We keenly support local businesses preferring the competition and variety which comes with them. In our time at Warley 3 corner shops have closed in Woodman Road and a pub is under threat, 1 local shop closed in Queen Street and 1 at the south end of Warley Hill. Tesco will unfairly threaten local traders here and lead to more shop losses leaving only more of the same old, same old Tesco offer. Shame on Tesco for putting their business interest before local sensitivities. ”
“This store will destroy local businesses”
” I feel strongly against Tesco opening in Warley Hill.
Tesco are a massive threat to rthe small shops in the are. They are unfair competition as they can afford to make a loss to start with so the local shops go bankrupt then they can put theit prices up. The only winners are Tesco. Shops like Londis are the losers.”
“But it is the destruction that will follow of the smaller little convenience shops that have managed to co-exist for so long.Local communities are important for both the local peopleand for the existing shops and this should be taken into account.the proposed tesco is too close to the petrol stn and warley hill parade shops and will squeeze out family shops”
“The traffic problems will be a nightmare
We already have enough little local supermarkets, we dont need another Tesco to take away their business”
I think this will have a negative impact on the local area and the whole of Brentwood. TOWIE has done enough damage to this town. Please leave it alone, we are losing all the character and culture of Brentwood.”
“The demise of the high street is already a huge concern. Warley Hill has many small businesses that rely heavily on local purchases. With the construction of yet another Tesco Express so close to these business premises will only aggrevate the demise further. Please stop Warley Tesco”
Each of the above is from a different person (we have the records to prove it, but for obvious reasons, won’t be publishing names) – indicating the strength of feeling locally against the arrival of the shopping Behemoth.
Please, if you’ve not already done so, write to your local councillor – whether it’s Will Russell, William Lloyd, Janet Pound, David Tee, Karen Chilvers, Nigel Clarke or one of the others locally. Email Eric Pickles on email@example.com, or write directly to Tesco – Carole Leslie is our contact there: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This evening has been spent composing various emails and communications. The campaign continues – far from being on an even playing field, Tesco are a retailing giant who have the economic power to sweep every other shop they see out of sight.
So the first letter went to Dr Vince Cable – who is responsible for competition law, and the potential for adjusting the monopolistic stranglehold Tesco and other giant supermarkets have on the High Streets of the UK.
Then another note to our local MP and leader of the council, along with some of the comments received so far on the campaign website – more on that tomorrow.
Then another to all the opposition leaders and local councillors – so that they are at least aware of the strength of feeling.
Next, to write to the Department for Communities and Local Government re. planning… Oh – hold on, we already did that – come on Mr Pickles, support your local community!
A visit to the open meeting by Tesco today was most enlightening. Most entertaining of all, was the artist’s impression, featuring a re-modeled Warley Hill, and a pub which had been mysteriously moved around four foot back from the pavement, in a dreamy Utopian vision of a Tesco world.
Either Tesco plan to spend a LOT of money in the re-construction and re-location of the pub, or they’re trying to make their proposition more appealing than it is. I wonder which…
A local Councillor suggested that parking wouldn’t be a problem because it could be dealt with the same way as local schools using traffic wardens. He omitted to remember that traffic problems at schools are at two times of day only. Traffic problems at Tesco will be anywhere between 0600 and Midnight.
The same Councillor incorrectly tried to convince the assembled public that NISA is a franchise scheme. For clarity, NISA is effectively a cooperative – a buying group that tries to help small shop owners compete with the retail giants.
Another Councillor happily declared that Warley Hill is too narrow at the point of the former Warley Tavern for a zebra crossing. Not too narrow though, apparently, for a supermarket giant, with ATM and ‘Click and Collect’ facilities.
The Tesco representative was totally unable to explain how parking would be controlled – saying that was the responsibility of other people. Which gives us great reassurance. So much for Corporate Social Responsibility – effectively ‘its not our problem mate’.
There were clearly many people upset and clearly frightened by the aggressive tactics taken by Tesco who appear to care not for the lives of local people and their children – but there’s lots of money to be made, and undoubtedly lots of people will be lured by the bright lights and the PERCEPTION of low prices.
I wonder if perhaps these councillors, so enthusiastic for the support by Tesco of local charity and crossings, might be convinced to secure Tesco stocking veg from Calcott Hall, or beer from Brentwood Brewery, or Bread and cake from a local baker?
Remember – this is NOT a fait accompli yet.
Others have succeeded in stopping Tesco – with enough support, the same might stop Brentwood from becoming the supermarket hub of Essex.
Local councillors William Lloyd and Karen Chilvers met with Tesco last week. They will be holding an open session in the Essex Arms on Wednesday 13 March from 4pm-7pm – which should rule out most commuters, but still hopefully it’ll give some a chance to find out what the plans are.
Cllr Chilvers has helpfully posted information from the meeting here
Some of their main points from the meeting:
- Opening – Tesco want licence from 6am to Midnight
- Litter – Tesco made no commitment to clearing litter but might add some bins
- ATM – will be added to the front of the store
- Lighting and signage – will be added, lights to turn off no more than 15 mins after store close
- Deliveries – daily deliveries, and 4x weekly deliveries by a 16 tonne truck, “similar to Greene King” – did Greene King deliver daily? We doubt it.
A 16 tonne truck? What’s that? – Well research suggests it might be this:
But who knows – it could well be an articulated truck with a 16 tonne tractor…
Unfortunately not many of us who work will make it to the Essex Arms, but please go along if you can.
A little addendum to the last post – some might be confused over the differences between Tesco’s Metro, Express, Extra and Superstore offerings and the prices they charge.
Essentially, Tesco are a commercial enterprise – they charge what they can, where they can. That’s how they make a living. They will push heavily (and with their immense buying power, that’s very heavily) on their suppliers to cut costs. But they also won’t shy away from charging customers what they think they can get away with locally.
We were thinking of doing a study of the different prices. But luckily, someone beat us to it.
Read this article from Confused.com where 12 out of 20 items were more expensive, and many cheap items just not available in Tesco Express at all.
In Bristol a campaign group compared items with local shops – 26% more expensive @ Tesco.
Even Tesco’s own website says:
Tesco Express and Tesco Homeplus purchases are not included in Tesco Price Promise. That’s because it’s not possible to fairly compare these store types with Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons large stores and online grocery websites. (https://www.tescopricepromise.com/)
And another campaign did a price comparison here – 15% more @ Tesco.
If you prefer a less authoritative approach, try this article in the Daily Mail which found that all products in part of the Tesco empire were 14% higher.
We could go on, but the average seems to be that Tesco Express are about 15-20% more pricey than existing local shops. And they’re certainly not matching superstore or ‘Extra’ prices.
Had an interesting conversation today about the cost of Tesco Express – there’s been a lot of talk about how cheap it’ll be.
It suddenly dawned on me during this conversation that many people expect Tesco shops to be the same price – regardless of whether it’s an Xtra store or an Express – this isn’t the case. In a major superstore, a can of diet coke will be about 50-60p. In Tesco express near to my work, the same can is 75p – the price varies (of course) depending upon what Tesco think they can get for it.
If you’re labouring under the misconception that Tesco will be significantly cheaper than anywhere else, think again.
It seems Tesco have a solution to the perception that their pub take-overs aren’t all about the community and philanthropy.
The solution? throw £500 into the opening budget, and hand it to someone local, who will inevitably be grateful and provide a suitable photo opportunity for the local press.
In Hutton of course it was St Francis Hopsice who were the recipients of the ‘commitment to the community’ donation
Undoubtedly some suitable cause will benefit for the benefit of Tesco when (if) they arrive in Warley – remember it’s by no means a foregone conclusion – other places have succeeded in halting the shopping leviathan…