Lyme Regis residents protest against Tesco
PUBLISHED: 12:18 28 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:32 15 June 2010
PROTESTERS took to the streets of Lyme Regis in a bid to stop Tesco coming to town. Organised by Love Lyme, chanting demonstrators carried placards saying every little hurts and save our traders from the raiders.
PROTESTERS took to the streets of Lyme Regis in a bid to stop Tesco coming to town.
Organised by Love Lyme, chanting demonstrators carried placards saying 'every little hurts' and 'save our traders from the raiders.'
At 11 am on Saturday, objectors to the supermarket giants said farewell to 40 year's of Woolworth's service and called for Tesco to stay away.
Love Lyme organiser Tilly Lavenas said it was a successful event and around 100 signatures were collected on their petition.
She said: "Traders, visitors and Lyme residents filled the ranks. You could hear a lot of them talking about how sad they felt that there might soon be a Tesco in Lyme."
She added they had been circulating a questionnaire to gauge the local opinion. She said: "Approximately 425 people have responded in the last six days. The results are a resounding rejection of the Tesco plan with 78.1 per cent opposed to and 13.3 per cent in favour."
Demonstrator and owner of Collins of Lyme food store, Louise Atkinson, was one of the petitioners against plans for a Tesco store.
She said she would not have bought her business had she known of Tesco's plans.
"We were looking to move into the area anyway," she said. "But I know we wouldn't have bought the business if we'd known that this was coming. We wouldn't have taken the risk.
"There are a large number of residents in Lyme who don't want Tesco here. I think a lot of people feel very strongly about it and that it will change the face of Lyme.
"Also we want to support local farmers and are concerned about the environmental issue - the food miles, and where the food is coming from."
A spokesperson for the supermarket said it would be a small convenience store, a Tesco Express, in which they could use local suppliers' products and create new jobs.
She said: "A Tesco Express offers a different range and service to a good local baker or a fishmonger. It can add to the retail mix on a local high street.
"Many people have commented that Woolworth has been a much-loved brand in Lyme Regis. One of the benefits that Tesco could bring to Lyme is to help to retain the footfall, benefiting local traders through linked trips."
She said Tesco welcomed MP Oliver Letwin's comments that the store could increase custom for local traders - as has been the result in other cases where a supermarket appears on the high street.
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