Tesco denies 'silence' claim

PUBLISHED: 13:32 07 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 15 June 2010

THE Midweek Herald edition of (April 2) reported a claim that Tesco's regional development manager, Melanie Chiswell, had asked local resident Lizzie Bewsher to quieten down her protests against the closure of the Lyme Bay Holiday Village.

The Midweek Herald edition of (April 2) reported a claim that Tesco'sregional development manager, Melanie Chiswell, had asked localresident Lizzie Bewsher to "quieten down" her protests against theclosure of the Lyme Bay Holiday Village. The story further reported aclaim that Tesco had asked another local resident of Seaton whether she could be 'quietened down' in order to avoid a "media frenzy".Tesco have now responded to the claim as follows: "Neither MelanieChiswell, nor any other member of the team, has at any time asked foranybody to be quietened down. Melanie Chiswell and her Tesco colleagues have in fact at all times sought the views and opinions of everybody associated with Seaton, for or against development."Tesco's team attended Mrs Bewsher's public meeting on March 20 to hear from residents and to answer their questions, and also met Seaton Town Councillors on March 26. The team did indeed speak to Mrs Bewsher the day before the demonstration: this was in response to her request for information. They supplied her with the information she needed and followed this up with an email confirming the main points" A statement released by Tesco to the media, including the MidweekHerald, on March 28 read: "Tesco has been talking to councillors,community representatives and Lizzie Bewsher...and we all agree that we have the same aspirations for Seaton - a regeneration area that we can be proud of."Today a Tesco spokesperson said: "We will continue to keep the Seatoncommunity fully informed of our intentions for the regeneration of thetown."We believe that the Midweek Herald could have contacted other Tescosources to check on the accuracy of their story."There is nothing wrong with robust debate - the planning system in this country is quite rightly democratic and rigorous. Tesco is excited about the project and is confident that the vision for Seaton represents a fantastic opportunity for everybody concerned to work together to achieve a great outcome."The Midweek Herald recognises that Tesco has strong concerns that we did not take enough steps to contact them for a comment. Although the Midweek Herald feels it did take reasonable steps, we acknowledge their concerns and take them on board.

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