Council leader calls for action against supermarket giants

Posted On 25 Mar 2010 at 8:55 am

Council Leader Mary Mears says she hopes Brighton and Hove can stop supermarket giants opening more stores in the city.

The Conservative leader spoke out on her blog after Sainsbury’s was refused planning permission for its new Express store frontage – after it had already opened the store in Western Road, Hove.

She pointed out this was not the first time a superstore has done this – and also said the proliferation of the giant’s smaller convenience stores was leading to a greater availability of cheap alcohol on the city’s streets late at night.

And she spoke of North Norfolk District Council (and a local farmer called Clive Hay-Smith), joining forces to prevent Tesco opening in Sheringham as example to follow.

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She said: “Here in Brighton and Hove we are quite rightly nationally renowned for our sheer number and variety of small independent retailers, and if even half of these disappeared our economy would be in real trouble. Therefore, I think it is vitally important that local politicians stand up and make a statement on this issue wherever possible.

“I would be the first to recognise the benefits that the Tesco and Sainsburys of this world have brought to consumers over the years in terms of improved choice and value for money. However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the growing influence that they are exerting in Brighton and Hove and, indeed, across the country as a whole.”

She adds: “I have been involved in local politics for many years now and I am increasingly getting a real sense of power and control draining away from local communities, of someone else pulling the strings – whether that is central Government, the EU, regional quangos or large multinational companies.”

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