Ron risks losing Tesco vote to lead campaign

PUBLISHED: 13:58 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 15 June 2010

A TOWN councillor is prepared to lose his vote over the controversial Tesco proposal to lead a campaign against the Ottery Moor Lane development. Ron Farnham, of Dowell Street, says he was elected to Honiton Town Council last May on the strength of his

A TOWN councillor is prepared to lose his vote over the controversial Tesco proposal - to lead a campaign against the Ottery Moor Lane development.Ron Farnham, of Dowell Street, says he was elected to Honiton Town Council last May on the strength of his opposition to the scheme and that he is willing to co-ordinate a town-wide campaign against the supermarket chain's planning application.He is urging opponents in "every street" to contact him, to counteract what he describes as "apathy".Councillor Farnham believes people have accepted the scheme as "passed", fearing they won't acknowledge a period of public consultation as a true opportunity to express their objections."I was elected on a strong anti-Tesco theme and, therefore, I feel I have to do something on behalf of the ratepayers who elected me," he told the Herald.East Devon District Council validated Tesco's plan for a major relocation in Honiton 10 days ago.The plan will go before the town council on February 19, but won't be considered by East Devon District Council, the local planning authority, until at least March."I love our little town, warts and all," said Councillor Farnham. "I don't want Honiton to go the same way as those towns who have nothing but boarded up shops and charity shops. Honiton can't be left to the obvious traffic chaos that will ensue, if this plan is given the go-ahead."Councillor Farnham is offering to co-ordinate action in Honiton and wants those opposed to the scheme, in every street, to contact him.He said: "I've already been in touch with Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the residents of Ottery Moor Lane. I would like to see a poster campaign in shops, because I don't want to see a Tesco so close to the town centre."Councillor Farnham says he's confident one person from every road in the town will be against the proposal. He's urging those people to get in touch - so a town-wide opposition can be presented to planners at the Knowle."I am prepared to act as the campaign co-ordinator and would ask people to contact me," Councillor Farnham said.He recently manned a hotline to inform people about a road closure in Dowell Street and says the response was phenomenal. "I am prepared to stick my neck put, even if it means I can't vote on the issue," he said.Councillor Farnham can be contacted on (01404) 44723 or 07966980415.

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