Former mayor urges people to respect shopping hour set aside for elderly

Shoppers are ignoring an hour set aside for the elderly and vulnerable, according to a former mayor of Brighton and Hove.

Former mayor Mo Marsh

Retired Labour councillor Mo Marsh was shocked to find no eggs in Waitrose in Western Road, Brighton, to be told by staff that the day haad started with a “stampede”.

The firm offered the first hour of trading on Fridays and Tuesdays to elderly and vulnerable shoppers to help them buy what they need.

But the 72-year-old former mayor said: “Folk didn’t respect the oldies and vulnerable first hour but just stampeded in.

“Waitrose haven’t got the resources to enforce this.

“This needs proper government measures to enforce rationing, instructions to supermarkets and resources to ensure fair allocations according to need.”

Ms Marsh is diabetic and said that eggs were an important part of her diet.

But she said that she was equally concerned about people buying gluten-free pasta and bread due to panic-buying as her six-year-old grandson is coeliac.

Ms Marsh added: “Greedy people are just buying. My daughter is struggling to get gluten-free foods for my grandson who will die if he has gluten.”

Her comments come a day after the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Nancy Platts asked people to leave specialist foods for people who specifically needed them.

She sent an open letter to local supermarkets asking for measures to prevent stockpiling.

Councillor Platts said that people should think about their neighbours and communities and donate spare items to food banks.

Waitrose said that it was not aware of problems on what was the first day of the new “vulnerable” hour.

She said: “We’ve had really good feedback and we have security teams in the shops.

“We believe our customers usually do the right thing.  It’s a real shame she had this experience which is not right.

“We hope people remember this is an hour for the elderly and vulnerable.”

  1. Jason Reply

    A friend of mine in her late 70s went to Tesco’s in Boundary Road at 9am today for the start of this “oldies” hour, only to be told the staff knew nothing about it!

    Don’t the owners of these large chains realise they’ll be facing an economic backlash once all this is over, with disgruntled former customers swearing never to shop with them again?

    They claim to be “helping” the old, the disabled, the sick, the housebound by suddenly withdrawing the home delivery service so many depend on. How is that “helping”?

  2. Martin Farley Reply

    Why are we blaming ‘greedy people’ when the evidence suggests that most households are just buying a little bit more to cover their changing needs? The data says that the average household has spent just £40 extra on groceries in the last 3 weeks, which sounds like most are sensibly shopping at a time where they are spending more time at home and might be forced to be quaratined at some point soon.

    The problem seems to be that the supermarkets were not expecting this change in shopping patterns, which suggests that the government had failed to prepare vital national supply chains for the coming shock.

    Please point responsibility at those in power, who have failed to prepare and respond adequately, and stop attacking unnamed ‘others’ (it’s interesting that nobody seems to own up to buying a bit more than normal over the past fortnight) who are most likely just trying to get in their normal shop, plus a few extras just in case.

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