Tesco Action Group

October 24, 2011

Ox Fast Tracked
Outside what was the Ox Public House, on the Oxford Road in Abingdon, signs on the hoardings now advertise “Fruit and vegetables…” “Fresh bread and cakes…” “You shop we drop…”.

The Abingdon Herald front page story last week highlighted the traffic dangers of this particular site becoming a Tesco Express. See more at the website for the campaign against …Tesco Oxford Road Action Group.

Filed under: Business, traffic

23 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. newcomer  |  October 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Good choice of cars going passed the latest incarnation of ‘The Evil Empire’ … red, white and blue! Is there a secret message (I joke).

    What annoys me is that the Tesco apologists seem to have no vision as to what will (inevitably) happen to food pricing in the town if Tesco gets Abingdon by the short and curlies. Tesco as a ‘charity shop’, or would they ramp-up the price of bread, butter, tomatoes, green beans, fish fingers, beef burgers, ciggies and bog-standard canned lager?

    Your call … go on … make a guess.

    You’d have to be without imagination to know which way the wind blows. Be very worried that our councillors aren’t making ‘a fist’ to stop this happening … they aren’t.

    If Tesco have gone this far with the Ox site they haven’t gone ahead without feeling a bit smug and confident (okay, it’s normal for them). Let us know the names of those on the Council(s) side who are nodding this through … don’t all rush to the front at once.

  • 2. CST  |  October 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Welcome to Tesco-on-Thames :-)

  • 3. Just another resident  |  October 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    They don’t need any sort of permission from the council to do this.
    And yes – once they have got rid of the opposition, the prices will go up.

  • 4. Cassandra  |  October 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    True they don’t need permission from the Council. However, since the Council is there to represent us shouldn’t they be making some effort to make our views known to the various levels of Local and National Government? It is only when townspeople’s opposition is recognised that some changes to this short-sighted legislation will be made.

  • 5. rudi  |  October 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    but then what are ‘ our views ‘ exactly?
    presumably you mean the objectors.
    unless you are suggesting that most people in abingdon are against having a tesco – and what evidence do you have for that?

  • 6. doozer  |  October 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    ..of course the objectors…

    Most people probably neither know nor care about most of this. But if they did….? I think it is wrong to assume that the silent majority is “for” this. They may well be against -if they knew.

    If the loudest drum being banged is the nay-sayers…it’s up to the Yeys to bang their own drum…and louder.

    I agree that this is not a council issue. It is a legislative issue and so comes from higher up the food chain (poor pun, sorry) than the lowly council – no matter what we may like to think.

    I have no love for Tesco (or indeed the supermarket masacre of theBritish highstreet)…but until recent years, “supermarkets” were part and parcel of that highstreet. Tesco changed the game.

    You can try and fight this (I mean this particular new store), but it will prove fruitless as ultimately the ‘objection process’ is long and more importantly…expensive. And as I am sure we all appreciate….Tesco has far more money and therefore ability to fight again and again and again than any council might. Therefore, any objection will ultimately fail once it goes to appeal etc (even if a council were that way inclined).

    Have people written to Nicola (Blackwood)? Apparently, she is ‘concerned’…but what that ultimately means…? You too could chase her up to see if she’s signed EDM 1453 that calls on Government to ensure new planning rules incentivise town centre development, retail diversity and the local economy and ask if she supports amendments to the Localism Bill?
    Maybe “Tescopoly.com” will offer some useful directions…but I fear, as has already been expressed…the absolute best thing to do…is not use this store – but will that message and the reasons why sink in….even if it reached people…?

    As an example; Whilst people are only interested in the cost of apples…rather than putting something in their mouths that tastes like an apple (let alone is local, low carbon foot print, local economy benefit, in season etc etc etc) then Tesco will ALWAYS have the upper hand…

    That’s the country we live in.

  • 7. newcomer  |  October 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Edwin Starr … War (What Is It Good For?) … lyrical genius, one of the best tracks EVER.

    Abingdon Council … (What Is It Good For) … Absolutely Nothing.


    Clueless jobsworthies without an idea to share.

  • 8. Iain  |  October 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Erudite as always newcomer – looking forward to sone reasoned argument one day

  • 9. rudi  |  October 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    if you have a pension, YOU own tesco.

  • 10. newcomer  |  October 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    As me, Iayn, we both need proof-readers, however, I’m not towing a party line. Sad to have sold your soul for something less than rock ‘n’ roll ;0) … swing-on while Abingdon’s remodelled, rearranged and wrecked.

  • 11. Old Ghost  |  October 26, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I really don’t get this ‘if you have a pension you own Tesco’ argument. My pension plan, if I had one, would probably have shares in Tesco, but that doesn’t mean I have any influence over Tesco through this. It doesn’t make for any democratic vote available to me, same as if I bought shares directly, unless I was as rich as an investment institution and bought lots. It might mean that I have some theoretical responsibility for Tesco’s actions, but in reality I have no real choice due to the nature of our society, and I would argue no responsibility in this direction.
    But do I have a responsibility to the town and community I live in, to allow, or fight for, free trade on an equal footing, allowing for diversity and choice and a healthy high street?

  • 12. Iain  |  October 26, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Agree on the typing newcomer – can’t get the hang of these small phone keys :)

    I’m not aware of any party line on tescos setting up in the ox, do tell me if you find one.

    Personally, as I’ve mentionedon this blog before, I don’t agree with this specific redevelopment. Along with several other counsilors, from all three parties I’ve written to object to the planning application, attended demo, signed petitions etc. However, when it cones down to it tescos are not doing anything illegal and the town council has no powers to stop this happening.

    This is not being a jobworthy, this is just reality. If you would like to discuss this you can always mail me to discuss rather than second guessing what views I hold in regard to any party line.

  • 13. hester  |  October 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

    In case they get overlooked in the subsequent sniping and backbiting i would like to reinforce Doozer’s comments at item 7 – if we want to actually make a difference the ways to do it are to:

    a) lobby those who can influence the issue – in this case our MP who can help get the new planning framework right

    b) vote with your feet (and/or put your money where your mouth is!) – in this case support the shop next door or local producers

    c) encourage friends, colleagues and neighbours to do likewise

  • 14. Iain  |  October 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Wise words as always Hester

  • 15. the color climax corporation  |  October 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    i support points b and c for sure – that’s democracy in action.
    part A though, i see that as trying to force your beliefs onto others like some kind of god botherer

  • 16. doozer  |  October 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    oh…I thought Nicola was there to do our bidding. To voice the views, opinions and concerns of the people she represents. What she may think, or what her opinion is is secondary to all this.

    Of course, if more people want a Tescos,and they all let Nicola know; and this people outnumber the people that don’t want it…then that is the voice that Nicola should represent.

    There, democracy in action.

    I do not want a supermarket there on Oxford Road. I also don’t want a supermarket to be the anchor for the Abingdon-on-Thames development…but I’m willing to conceed that if that’s what the majority want…then go with the majority.

    But if no one says “Yes”..then that’s more volume to the “No’s”….regardless of how many, or few that may be.

  • 17. rudi  |  October 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I don’t think anyone, anywhere campaigns to have a shop of any sort, regardless of the company – even if it’s the nicest shop in the world.

  • 18. Millihelen  |  October 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I have been told that both Nicola Blackwood MP and Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale District Council have met with concerned parties.
    Sorry – I don’t know any more than that

  • 19. CST  |  October 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    If Tesco can turn a pub into a shop then it should work equally the other way can a shop become a pub?
    I bet not

  • 20. Old Ghost  |  October 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Ha, ha, ha – I’m not sure that the Marcham Road site would have much atmosphere even if you could, might be worth a try though?

    Doozer, our democracy isn’t all about what the majority of the people want, more about what the majority of the money wants, hence your lack of control as ordinary citizens, councillors, even MPs. Remember the Golden Rule? He who has the gold makes the rules…

  • 21. doozer  |  October 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Old Ghost…indeed. I was trying on my “optimist hat”…

  • 22. Angela  |  October 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Coming to this discussion late I just wanted to pick up on some of the points. It has been pointed out over and over in this discussion – Planning law means Councillors have frustratingly little power to do anything at all about developments like this particular one.
    I, as the local councillor for this area, am trying to do everything I possibly can to ameliorate any harm that this development might have on the locality. I have used my right as the local councillor for the area to request that, when all the associated planning applications that have any hope of opposition on planning grounds are considered by the Vale that they be referred to committee. This will at least mean that the decision is made in public and gives objectors a chance to speak.
    I have contacted County Highways to try to persuade them to change their recommendation, pointing out that traffic flow WIIL be altered in a way that will impact on the school rush hour scene. I have also been to see Nicola Blackwood to enlist her support.
    There is certainly no biased political interest in this development as has been suggested. Iain and are in different parties and are both in one mind over this issue.
    This is not about anit-Tesco-ism, it is about the effect of removing variety, choice and competition if any one store is allowed to have a monopoly of all the corner shops in our town.

  • 23. Iain  |  October 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Well said Angela – fully agree

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