Reader’s Letter: More support for Tesco

Tesco site on Carlton Road, Worksop  (w120808-3b)
Tesco site on Carlton Road, Worksop (w120808-3b)

What is it with the people of Worksop and Tesco? I mean the majority of comments made about Tesco are very negative; I think this is unfair and uninformed criticism.

Let me make it clear that I am not siding with Tesco, quite the opposite, and as with any business, politicians, bankers etc I deplore unethical practices, but I do believe that people should take into account some positives and strike a balance when making their comments. However, I do have to declare that I have close family who work for Tesco.

Tesco is the largest private sector employer in the UK with over 300,000 direct employees and many thousand indirect employees and suppliers. It is the most successful retailer in the country. The Worksop store employs over 200 personnel and then there is the One Stop stores, which belong to Tesco. The company therefore provides many Worksop families with a main income and others a second income. Could you imagine the economic disaster that would befall the UK if, as some of Tesco’s detractors got their way, the company went bust (highly unlikely)? In addition, the other big retailers: Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons etc work in a very similar mode to Tesco; they’re just not the top dog. But they all do what the people want and that is supply cheap food! This does not come without a cost to someone else. I’ve not heard any complaints about local companies setting up agencies in east European countries to bring in workers, which, arguably, keep down UK wages and conditions, reduces opportunities for local workers and places great stress on the infrastructure. Because something is ‘legal’ doesn’t necessarily make it moral or ethical.

Now to the proposed superstore off Blyth Road. First I would like to say that location wise this has to be a gross misjudgment on both Tesco and the then BDC who sold Tesco the land for what I believe to be about £8 million. Knowing full well that Tesco wished to acquire the land for commercial purposes the council must have known that the there was a public footpath through the land, which may affect planning permission. If not then BDC’s legal team should be fired (and so should Tesco’s for not doing its research on the land and identifying possible obstacles to building). Either BDC’s legal team did not disclose the footpath and its potential problems to planning or , God forbid, someone on the council team indicated, discreetly, that there wouldn’t be any problems.

To even consider the proposed site with the objections raised by the long-suffering near-by residents and the potential traffic problems it would cause was at best arrogant and at its worst stupid.

I wrote (by email) to the CEO of Tesco some time back about the issue; I didn’t get a reply.

If the store does not go ahead for legal reasons then in my opinion BDC should act honourably and give Tesco its money back. By the way, what happened to the £8 million?

As for the hype over the new Morrison’s store, where were the complaints over the weeks of disruption to trafiic on Kilton Road, Kilton Hill and Bracebridge? Had this been a Tesco project then I believe the complaints and letters to the Guardian would have poured in thick and fast.

I think I’ve made my point but I would just like to mention that during the winter floods in Somerset and elsewhere Tesco bought and sent shipments of hay and other foodstuffs to the farmers whose animals needed food urgently; where was the public’s show of appreciation in this? After all, these farmers help to provide our food!

John Nightingale

(via email)