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Town Council Meeting Not 'Hijacked' by LOTS PDF Print E-mail
Supermarket Debate
Written by Save Ledbury   
Monday, 10 October 2011 22:38

Recriminations and accusations continue to surround events at last Thursday's Town Council meeting (6.10.11) concerning the Tesco planning application.

In response to John Eager’s account of the meeting on Ledbury Portal, and subsequent comments, LOTS (Ledbury Opposes Out of Town Superstores) issues the following statement:

There was no discussion, much less 'collusion' between LOTS and any of the town councillors in advance of Thursday's meeting.

Following dispatch to Herefordshire Council, LOTS issued a copy of its letter of objection to Town Councillors the day before the full TC meeting met to discuss reasons for refusal of the Tesco proposal.

While this was in line with standard practice, we were mindful of the forthcoming council discussion and naturally wished councilors to see our arguments and evidence.

 

When Cllr Jupp proposed that the Town Council should accept our report as the Council’s submission to Herefordshire Council, everybody present from the LOTS group (about six) was surprised and it has to be admitted, slightly disconcerted. Nevertheless, LOTS supporters present were encouraged by many of the interesting and cogent points put forward by councillors during the debate, and believe that these might form the core of the TC's rationale for voting against the Tesco proposal. It is inaccurate to say that councillors uncritically followed the LOTS objection without expressing their own opinions.

 

The headline in the Ledbury Portal that LOTS 'hijacked' the meeting was unfortunate, and unfair in the circumstances (although it is accepted that this was a quote from someone else).

As all present witnessed, Rich Hadley delivered the petition in line with protocol, and then, after a pause at the adjournment to allow anyone else to speak, stood up and briefly outlined the LOTS position.

Such is the febrile atmosphere over this Tesco/Sainsbury issue it seems that people are reading all sorts of underhand tactics and conspiracy politics into the situation.

LOTS wishes to assure everyone that as far as the anti-Ledbury Superstores campaign is concerned, the group will continue to put forward arguments backed up by hard evidence and experience. It is not, nor does it need to be in ‘collusion’ or working in concert with any other groups, individuals or organizations connected with the Town or County Councils.

In the final analysis, this is a planning issue and it will be determined on planning grounds – not local sentiment, for or against. To that extent, it is for others, not LOTS or LATS/LESS, to make up their minds about the outcome. Meantime, we remain confident in the impartiality and professionalism of the officers and members of Herefordshire Council Planning Committee to arrive at a correct decision which is in the long term interests of the people of Ledbury and Herefordshire.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 14:00
 
Comments (68)
Still no reply
68 Friday, 28 October 2011 23:23
Still no reply on my question as to whether certain councillors breeched Herefordshires Code of Conduct for Councilors concerning the subject of using LOTs "independant" report as the backbone for their own recommendation to Herefordshire Planning to refuse Tescos application. The exact items I am refering to are as follows;

Honesty and integrity – members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly, and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.

and

Personal judgement – members may take account of the views of others, including their political groups, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions.
Household size
67 Wednesday, 26 October 2011 17:40
As I already have admitted my error on those figures I really can't see any point in bringing it up again.

So lets stick with family size then .. to be honest a lot of this back and forth about "family" and/or "Household" size is just to hide the fact that LOTS managed to "persuade" the council to use their "independant" report as the backbone for their recommendation to reject the Tescos application and as the highstreet now shops with some shops removing the no posters that perhaps some traders realise getting into bed with LOTS wasn't such a good idea.

I'm looking forward to the council meeting tomorrow (27th) looks look its going to be 'interesting'
Household Size
66 Tuesday, 25 October 2011 22:14
John McCabe
The point though, Mr Marschall, is that "family" and "household" are not the same thing. As such you can't use "family" size to calculate the potential increase in the town's population when it's "household" size that's relevant. This is similar to the way you can't use the potential newpaper market in Ledbury and its surroundings to show a sudden and inexplicable increase in the population of Ledbury when it's the actual population of Ledbury as estimated by the local council that's relevant.
Household Size
65 Saturday, 22 October 2011 11:55
I would think most statistics based around family size would still say that a family is made up of 2 adults and 1.7 children, although reports do say that single parent households are increasing and by 2031 the average family size will be 2.13.
Household Size
64 Saturday, 22 October 2011 00:19
John McCabe
Mr Marschall,

I've just read through the document you referred to. It's late though so I may have missed something but I can't see where it says the average household size is 3.8.

It points out in a number of places that, to 1999, the average completed family size is 1.7 children. It would be very naive to assume that you could translate that (i.e. 2 parents + 1.7 children = 3.7 people, close to your 3.8 claim) directly to the average household size. For example my parents had 2 children so for some time their household comprised 4 people but that changed to 2 people in 1987 then only 1 person after 1999.

It seems that the reference Mr Harrison provided is far more appropriate to your argument but actually reduces the potential increase in Ledbury population in 2016 (compared to my earlier guess) to 1728 or 17.6%.

I can't comment on your dispute of Mr Warmington's claims on the migrant population because I don't have the figures to hand but I'd be very interested in reviewing them if you can find evidence.
Mr McCabe
63 Friday, 21 October 2011 14:16
Andrew Harrison
...and if you want to use a more recent report than 1999 try this 2009 report which predicts average household size to drop from 2.3 to 2.1

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/pdf/1172133.pdf
Mr McCabe
62 Friday, 21 October 2011 13:58
You figure for the average family is to low it should be 3.8 as per the research papaer found here

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-111.pdf

so the actually possible increase is 3,040 and I would dispute the claim of the size of the migrant population for Ledbury as rather more than stated.
Mr Ranker
61 Friday, 21 October 2011 10:57
John McCabe
Mr Ranker,

This has clearly shown it's important for you to do your own research to come up with your own decision over whether either the Tesco or Sainsbury's plans are appropriate for Ledbury however I'd encourage you to consider the following information.

Tesco's planning application can be found at:
http://www.ukplanning.com/ukp/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=796B5E2EDC6AB3E2623BC9602C972273.wam2?action=show&appType=planning%20folder&appNumber=DMN/111554/F.

If you view the Application Form it shows that Tesco plans to increase the tradeable area from its current 1175sqm to 3084sqm. An increase of 1909sqm or 162%. As a guess, the Co-op is probably around 2/3 of the size of Tesco so let's say 780sqm. Therefore the total supermarket size of Tesco and Co-Op together is currently around 1955sqm. Even taking both supermarkets together Tesco's plan is to increase the trading floorspace by just around 98%.

BTW - Interesting to see Mr Lever's objection in there too at:
http://www.ukplanning.com/ukp/doc/Objection%20Comment-9132328.txt?extension=.txt&id=9132328&location=VOLUME7&contentType=text/plain&pageCount=1.

Now, let's look at Sainsbury's. At http://www.sainsburys-ledbury.co.uk/ we can see that the sales area is planned to be 2787sqm. It doesn't say whether that includes the kiosk part of the petrol station which, like most supermarket petrol stations I've been in, I suspect you'll find a minimum of about 20sqm of trading floorspace in there. Let's ignore that for the moment though and just work with 2787sqm.

This would, of course, be in addition to the current offerings from Tesco and Co-op which, as I mentioned above, is around 1955sqm combined. If Sainsbury's were to be given the go ahead the supermarket trading space in Ledbury would INCREASE by 143%.

So we now have two figures; Tesco's plan will increase floorspace by 98% (i.e. the floorspace would pretty much DOUBLE) and Sainsbury's would increase it by a whopping 143% (i.e. the overall size would be 2 AND HALF TIMES what we have now).

Now let's look at population. As I've shown using the link to Herefordshire's official population estimate for Ledbury the population was 9,800 or so in mid-2010, down from around 9,900 in mid-2007. 800 new house are to be built over the next 15 years (i.e. by 2026). If we assume an average of 3 occupants per house then Ledbury's population will increase by 2,400 over 15 years.

That's around 24% more people that the traders in Ledbury (including Tesco and Co-op) would need to cater for.

So my question is, do you really think that we need between 100% and 150% more tradeable area NOW to cater for a potential increase in population of 24% over 15 years?

Even if you factor in the temporary migrant population which, based on Mr Warmington's reasonable analysis, is likely to be less than 1000, that's still only an extra 10% (I'm going to assume at this point that the migrant population will rise in line with Ledbury's static population as it makes things easier) so do we need an additional 98% to 143% to cater for 35% more people?

I certainly do not think so.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before; I do not have a problem with people having a desire to have a better or larger supermarket in Ledbury, the real problem I have is with the scale and location of both Tesco and Sainsbury's proposals. Both plans are significantly too large for Ledbury and are in the wrong location to continue to maintain the vitality and viability of the town centre.

You will hear people argue that we've had two supermarkets move in to town and the town centre is still there so why should it be any different this time? Of course the town centre is still viable, and the reason for that is that the two supermarkets we currently have are in reasonable proportion to the size of the town and in locations that help to encourage linked trips to town centre shops.

I personally believe that many people who support the Tesco or Sainsbury's plans have simply jumped at the chance of having something 'better' than we currently have (which is not unreasonable). The problem we have though is that there are only 2 campaigns going on; one that supports an enormous, inappropriately sized and located superstore and one that's against out of town development.

I suspect there is probably scope for a 3rd campaign that supports a more appropriate expansion of Tesco's current store (or Co-op's current store for that matter) which could more than likely be acceptable to most members of the LESS campaign and certainly some of the LOTS campaign.

Tesco have made a number of claims in their Planning and Retail Assessment about how they can't improve or enlarge their current store but the wording of that document is full of weasel words like Tesco "don't NORMALLY build stores of less than 40,000sqft on stilts" [to allow underground parking]. Well, perhaps it's time they did!

So, as I said at the start, you need to look closely at the details and make up your own mind.
'Up to 5,000 migrant workers'
60 Friday, 21 October 2011 08:25
Andrew Warmington
Ahem. As per John Eager's comment below (52), the 5,000 migrant workers Herefordshire Council predicted for 2011 was for the whole of Herefordshire, not just Ledbury. I'm not sure if you meant to imply that 5,000 might come to Ledbury, but it could certainly be read that way.

About 1/18th of the population of Herefordshire is in the Ledbury postal district (just under 10,000 out of just under 180,000), so even the figure John estimated of around 1,000 migrant workers around here is pretty generous. All other things being equal, it would be more like 280. I would guess the true figure is more than that but I don't think anyone really knows. It is certainly not enough to justify anything like the scale of expansion Tesco/Sainsbury's have in mind.

Furthermore, the projection for Ledbury's possible future retail expansion was made at a time when it was already known and accepted that there would be a significant expansion of housing here. The figure of 800 and the probable location merely tidied up the detail but this was of the order of magnitude expected and has been accommodated by the planners in terms of the retail expansion that might be needed up to 2026. Either superstore alone is much bigger than the whole of the extra need at most.
Alan Ranker
59 Thursday, 20 October 2011 18:08
My apologies for the incorrect figures there, however the arguement still stands for the new store as Herefordshire Council have announced a further 800 houses to be built over the next few decades in Ledbury and the upto 5,000 migrant workers we have here for six months of the year .. those two alone are more than enough to justify a new store .. don't let LOTs figures on the future retail requirements for Ledbury dampen the need, those figures were produced before the 800 houses announcement and when our migrant work force was estimated at only 1,000 - 2,000 per annum.
John Mccabe
58 Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:06
Alan Ranker
Thats a bit crap then. thought i had a solid argument about the bigger population to use on my mates but I could of looked a right tit.
RE Mr McCabe
57 Saturday, 15 October 2011 21:42
I was thanking Mr Eager.

I would question that all 3,578 of those that signed the petition are even residents of Herefordshire let alone Ledbury - juding by the one I saw which had abour 25 names on it, 10 were residents of Ledbury the other 15 came from such places a Sussex, Devon & Worcester, but even if they are, 37% is still a minority.

As far as the council decision goes we will have to see what happens won't we.
Petition
56 Saturday, 15 October 2011 21:30
John McCabe
Mr Marschall,

I'm not sure if it's me or John Eager you're thanking for pointing out your error but you're welcome.

I haven't physically seen the front page of the Reporter but I'm guessing you're referring to Mr Bills-Geddes's articles about the council meeting. They're very interesting but it seems you can read little in to them (and how you read them will probably depend on your viewpoint). As far as I can see there are a number of councillors who are not happy with the way the council's decision was reached but there seemed little evidence of there being any significant dissent about the outcome itself.

As far as petitions are concerned I would suggest you (and Michael Lever) have a search online for information on petitions and what level of support they need to be effective.

For example, in the government e-petitions website (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk), if an e-petition manages to attract 100,000 signatures (0.2% of the population) it immediately becomes eligible for debate in the House of Commons.

A second example is the mechanism that can be used in some US states to recall elected officials which is initiated through the submission of a petition. This can be a very serious issue and the signature requirements are described at http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16581. As you can see, these vary from state to state, and sometimes it depends on the size of the electorate but the number required is never more than 40% of the eligible voters at the time the official was elected and, in many cases, it is between 15% and 25% of the votes cast. Remember that votes cast will be far fewer than the number of eligible voters (e.g. the turnout for the 2008 presidential election was slightly more than 60%) and, of course, the number of eligible voters will be much less than the population!

The point I'm making here is that a petition containing _physical_ (i.e. not 'virtual') signatures corresponding to greater than 35% of Ledbury's population is very significant and is quite an achievement having been done over only a few days.
Population
55 Friday, 14 October 2011 20:15
Thank you John for that further information, I didn't realise those figures included areas outside of the Ledbury ward. I therefore revert to my earlier replies of the 3,578 people signing the petition being only 36% of the ~9,900 population figures for 2010 .. still pretty bad though.

Interesting front page of the Ledbury Reporter today don't you think?
Ledbury People
54 Friday, 14 October 2011 16:08
John McCabe
I think, in simple terms, what John Eager is saying is that Mr Marschall quoting 9,900 in 2009 and 13,031 in 2011 is like comparing apples with oranges.

If we look at the official estimates of Ledbury ward population available from Herefordshire Council (i.e. comparing apples with apples) it's a very different story.

Mr Ranker, for what it's worth, this (or perhaps Wikipedia) is where Mr Marschall's 9,900 appears to come from.

The official information is held in an Excel spreadsheet here: http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/factsandfigures/docs/Research/Total_Pop_Wards_LSOAs__Hfds_2001-current.xls.

Unfortunately this doesn't bring us right up to date as mid-2011 information is not yet available but, over the 10 years since the 2001 census the population of Ledbury (in the "Ward" page) is as follows:

2001 - 9,236
2002 - 9,362
2003 - 9,516
2004 - 9,640
2005 - 9,734
2006 - 9,811
2007 - 9,890
2008 - 9,851
2009 - 9,828
2010 - 9,793

So, what can we see from this information? Clearly the population rose somwehat from 9,236 in 2001 to 9,890 in 2007 but since then there has been a steady but gentle DECLINE to 9,793 in 2010.

It's also easy to see from this that the title of "Herefordshire's fastest growing town" depends a lot on the period you're applying the statistics to. From 2001 to 2009, the source of the "7%" claim, it is true that Ledbury grew but if we only consider the most recent statistics, from 2006 onwards, that is no longer the case.

It's intriguing to even imagine that Ledbury's population could rise by over 3,100 in 2 years without any major construction projects going on when an estimated 800 new houses, over a period of 15 years, is only likely to increase Ledbury's population by around 2,500.
Population again
53 Friday, 14 October 2011 15:31
Alan Ranker
Hey Colin thanks for that link man but weres the 2009 numbers.
Ledbury Demographic
52 Friday, 14 October 2011 15:27
John Eager
The most quoted Ledbury population comes from Herefordshire Council:

Ledbury Ward Population (mid-2009, ONS)
Total: 9,800
Aged under 16: 1,700 (17%)
Aged 16-64: 5,700 (58%)
Aged 65+: 2,400 (24%)

Ledbury Ward is the town of Ledbury and also includes the Frith, Donnington and Eastnor.

I tried to get accurate figures for the migrant population that swells the town predominantly during the summer months. Figures for Ledbury were not available, but Herefordshire Council was predicting that there would be 5,000 migrant workers in 2011 in the whole of Herefordshire. Could we assume about one fifth of these would be in the Ledbury area? The biggest problem getting accurate figures is that only about half of the farms asked returned information to the local authority.

Another figure quoted for the Ledbury population comes from Adweb who gets its data from JicReg Ltd. Adweb gives this Ledbury demographic:

Total population aged 15+: 13,026

Total Households: 6930

Adweb's data is used by newspapers to show potential advertisers the reach and circulation of local newspapers.

I contacted JicReg Ltd and asked for a breakdown of its figures. JicReg revealed that is data was compiled from three postcode areas:

GL18 2: population 1122
HR8 1: population 3975
HR8 2: population 7934

Total: 13031

JicReg obtain its data from JICPOPS (the Joint Industry Committee for Population Standards)

However, the GL18 2 postcode is across the border in Gloucestershire and covers the Dymock area and the large HR8 2 area covers much more than the Ledbury Ward as it extends to villages such as Ashperton, Putley and Much Marcle.

So these two figures are covering distinctly different areas, and should not be confused with each other.
Population
51 Friday, 14 October 2011 14:32
Alan Ranker
Cheers Colin
For Alan Ranker - Population Figures
50 Friday, 14 October 2011 13:45
Hi Alan, you can find the figures here

http://www.nsdatabase.co.uk/locationdetail.cfm?locationid=924
Good idea
49 Friday, 14 October 2011 11:17
Michael Lever
LOTS wishes to assure everyone that as far as the anti-Ledbury Superstores campaign is concerned, the group will continue to put forward arguments backed up by hard evidence and experience.
my thoughts
48 Friday, 14 October 2011 09:45
chris
The signatures that have collected on the petition are obviously from people who use the town shops, and if they are in support of lots then surely they will carry on shopping there reguardless whether a new supermarket is built??? Therefore leaving people and familes, like myself who do not shop in town very often, the chance to have something which we know will benefit us.
.
47 Friday, 14 October 2011 09:22
Andrew Harrison
.
New here
46 Friday, 14 October 2011 09:01
Alan Ranker
Hey Colin, I'm new here and reckon this sounds great but some of my mates arnt to sure. Where did you get you're population numbers from. I want to show them too them to show how its obvios we need a bigger shop.
Fair debate
45 Friday, 14 October 2011 08:01
jolene bloise
I have refrained so far from getting into what a certain person regards as debate.I want an open honest fair discussion without feeling patronized and goaded hence my short to the point replies. (not just on this page either)
I think little of the petition that was set up by LOTS,I don`t believe for one second it gives a true reflection of what the real towns people want.

I appreciate we all have different views and believe we have Ledburys best interests at heart. It`s not fair however to be insulting and underhand when someone has a fair point to get across.
Respect
44 Thursday, 13 October 2011 22:13
Lee Smith
I did find Andrew Warmingtons response was a bit patronising to be quite honest. I'm sure there was a hint of talking down,professional journalistic style or not and especially the response to the shelves not being full after 7 pm i feel that was just insulting my intelligence.
Respect
43 Thursday, 13 October 2011 16:38
You are right Andrew I will have the last word, but only to say I'll leave Lee and Jolene to express whether they thought your responses were "measured, respectful and reasonable"
Respect
42 Thursday, 13 October 2011 11:04
Andrew Warmington
To put it neutrally, Colin, we may have different definitions of words like 'respect' and 'debate'. It is just possible that what you think of as a forthright style of debating is something I would see as highly aggressive, though I know I'm not alone in that.

In addition, your style may be a long essay where mine is more likely to be a quick one-point witticism at someone's weak spot, though I can also go on and on if the mood hits me. So it goes. In my view, we are both dishing it out and should both be prepared to take it. I for one don't mind being unpopular in some quarters if it does anything to help save the town I love.

As for treating everyone that way, as you say, well t'ain't so. See, for example, my responses to Lee and Jolene below, which I believe to be measured, respectful and reasonable, as were their posts. They disgagree with me, they are entitled to. No-one ever said otherwise, certainly not me.

Since you have raised the point repeatedly, I have nothing to say about the petition simply because I wasn't involved and never saw it, other than to sign it. And now I'll let you have the last word...!
Mrs McLean
41 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 22:20
I would like to say on my own behalf that every debate I have entered into with you has always been done on the best possible terms from opposing sides. I could quite happily debate with you for hours and I hope that anything that I have posted in response to you has not come over as being 'bad' if it has then please accept my apology as it was never my intention to seem like that. I would hope that you would continue to offer your opinions and discuss these important issues in future.

Mr Cooke & Mr Warmington on the other hand have, in my opinion, only ever commented to try and 'talk down' or belittle other peoples ideas and comments and as such have been met with the same type of responses, as a very famous person once said "do unto others as you would have do unto yourself"
Respect
40 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 22:01
Administrator

There are a few comments being dished out that here can be taken offensively. This space is about debate, views and opinions. Please, before hitting the post button, just check you're not being personally rude to anyone. There is little point offending the people you are talking to, as they will just leave the discussion - and you'll end up talking to yourself.

to Martin
39 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 21:25
A final mention ...I really must defend Mr Warmington..who I do not know..He is trying to get a view (with which I agree) ....across in a difficult environment. I have seen very very very unpleasant personal abusive comments from some LATS/ LESS members and feel everyone should try harder to not inflame and lower the standard of the discussion
Targeting petitioning
38 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 20:18
I do not know why we did not go to schools or Tescos or anywhere else to collect signatures..We just met in Town for a few hours here and there and collected signatures...maybe it might have be an idea to move around a bit. There was really not that much time that people could devote to it. I was very busy with h'Art at the time. You can say Martin that it was a clever ploy if you wish but I know it was not.. I am assuring you and telling you the truth when I say that we did not cleverly target or even debate the venue that closely. There are so many other things in life to think about than beside the Tesco / Sainsburys planning application!! I was also surprised at the number of signatures, considering everything.
With Lee again
37 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 19:59
I did not meant to emphasis "hard up". .I know it is not easy with an average family income to bring up children these days and I have been very hard up..so know how hard it can be perhaps not for you..but certainly for some on low incomes.That is the trouble with this kind of on-line discussion ....it is so easy for misunderstandings to occur that do not happen face to face when you can see peoples' reactions and hear the tone in their voice. I personally would not object to an Aldi Store if it could be accommodated as near to the town as the present two supermarkets. We will eventually need more retail space, but I do not think yet. I would not personally object to the present Tesco being developed if that were possible (what about eventually an underground car park?). It is the position and size of the present Tesco plans that I objected to. I think that shoppers need to be able to stroll into town from smaller supermarkets Please do not take bits of this post out of context anyone....as you know it is very frustrating when you feel that your message is being misunderstood.
Targeted Petitioning
36 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 19:03
Debbie Baker
Here here Martin! Well said. Also Colin, the facts and figures are a stark reminder of how this town has evolved, and is in need of a bigger supermarket. Thank you for them too. The debate is only good when you use the correct figures and prove them to be valid at this very time, not from years ago or try to hide information from the other side, such as the percentage of those who live in the area that signed the petition. It does make a difference, and for you to say it doesn't is rather short sighted, its a pity you didn't take the time to take your petition down to the schools and see how many struggling families would agree with your anti supermarkets petition.
Target petitioning
35 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:40
martin dudley
So why not take a position up adjacent to the exit at Tescos and petition there, a truer reflection to be had I'm sure - the tourists who visit do not come to Ledbury to use any supermarket but more to look at the history and spend in cafes and gift shops etc, they may well sign your forms but they also get back into a car or on a coach and leave Ledbury without giving a thought again.

Sorry Valerie but targeted petitioning is just what it was, a clever ploy maybe but ubnder the eyes of the local government ombudsman and the peoplem who scrutinise it will add little to your cause.

No LOTS person seems to want to respond regarding the actions taken to delete comments and opinions from their forums, comments and opinions that directly prove many LOTS assumptions to be incorrect, further there is nno response as to why certain posters/members who disagree with L;OTS are then removed from any debate and inclusion within that particular group - Underhanded......of course not!
Response to Valerie
34 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:39
Lee Smith
Hi Valerie,
Firstly may I say your debating skills are something to be proud of as not one post of yours I have read have resulted in condescending or patronising comments unlike a few I have read from your side of the argument.
That said your point on Aldi being the best place to shop for cheaper goods,would your opinion change if it was Aldi submitting plans for a store in Ledbury? I think a larger Super Market can create compietion which for the consumer is only a good thing.
One point I have is how have the Butchers in town been affected by LDA Meats trading out of town?There's still 3 of them there so business cannot be affected that greatly and They are alot cheaper than their in town counterparts.
A question for Mr Warmingtons comments on Tesco deliberately understocking to fool customers, Have they been doing that for the last few years in a long term effort to persuade because that's how long it's been happening due to, in my opinion, too much demand not enough stock mainly because of the custom from fruit farm workers which isn't a bad thing for Tescos business but just isn't big enough to cope.
I tried to portray the plight of many families that live in Ledbury and am not after sympathy in fact i dont consider myself or my family hard up i just want to be able to shop in Ledbury the place I have lived for many years affordably and not another town or city.
If LOTS get their way and stop any development of Ledbury, with the building of new houses and the evolution of this town I fear I will only get worse.
current discussion with Martin and Colin
33 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:24
I admit it...I am giving up and finding too difficult to debate here. There are too many misunderstandings.
We were not cleverly aiming the petition at anyone other than people using the High Street which seemed the sensible place to collect on a busy market day......I did not say the petition was not relevant..you keep bringing the subject up and surely everyone knows that Aldi is one of the very cheap supermarkets that .......I admit it..I have used .....I do not take sections of your posts and mock them........So Good Bye I think I will leave the discussion there.
Short post :)
32 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 18:17
jolene bloise
I have to thank Martin for saying exactly what I was thinking with regards to Mr Warmington.Well done!
Must drive people mad that we`re simply not going away!
Interesting reading also by LESS,keep it coming.
Thought for the day
31 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:44
had to smile at that one Mr Lever .. but Aldi is even cheaper :-)
Targeted petitioning
30 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:30
martin dudley
There we go, an answer in a nutshell.......

Names gathered on the high street and some of the shops - How many Ledbury people actually frequent the high street or local boutiques and gift shops etc etc? We all know it's a town that is more dependant on passing trade by means of visitor/tourist than it is on normal everyday Ledbury folk. This petition was rather cleverly aimed at passing trade and tourists etc, you can deny all you want but I maintain I know of not 1 single local person who was asked to sign or to offer an opinion - everytime somebody in favour offers an opinion we all know that their remarks are deleted from LOTS forums/groups, even those masquerading as a Much Marcle FaceBook group delete offerings that offer an alternative view, so much so now that LOTS even delete the memberships of anyone begging to differ. LOTS targeted a certain type of person for that petition and I wager that blue collar workers, young mothers or even young local families were not amongst those asked.

Think back just a fortnight or so ago and Ms Mary Portas being interviewed on TV about the death of the high street, giving several reasons for its demise not once, I repeat NOT ONCE did she mention the introduction of out of town superstores or retail parks as a reason for the demise, the number 1 reason and so predominant within our own high street.......the traders complete failure to recognise change, adopt and adapt, something that Mr Lever has been trying to outline for several weeks now.

As for Mr Warmington,take a leaf out of Mrs McLeans approach to debate, your arrogant and patronising 'my opinion is better than yours' attitude sometimes really does beggar belief.
Thought for the day!
29 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:27
Michael Lever
I was walking in the Tesco entrance earlier to get my weekly shopping, when I read their motto, 'Why Pay More?'

"Good point," I thought... "Asda it is then."
petition .. Valerie McLean & Andrew
28 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:20
Hmm ok, if the petition isn't really that relevant then it can be left at that.

Well Andrew would you stay silent if you were against something, which as we know you wouldn't. Try using a little brain power here, I didn't say that those who aren't interested are Anti-LOTS, I said it could be translated to a 'no' vote for LOTS; meaning about the petition, as that was what that part of my post was about, not the same thing at all no matter how you try to twist it. I also notice Andrew that you always seem to side step the points, just picking on word usage or small items and then making them into a BIG thing. No mention of the official population figures, or the percentage signing the petition, or that your spokesman is quoted as saying LOTS would welcome a superstore in the town centre. To be honest you and Mr Cooke aren't really interested in any debate apart from trying to make others look small which says to me you are really quite concerned about LOTS failures.
petition..Colin Marschall
27 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:51
Hello
Lets try and keep these posts a bit shorter !
Lots are not running an on-line petition to my knowledge..but a High Street survey.
The names on the petition were collected during a few hours on a few mornings/afternoons in the High Street..I found that people just came up to me to sign on the odd morning that I was present. Some petition sheets were left in the shops (several stolen!) We did not do a scientific type analysis of the population of Ledbury and then go around asking everyone to sign who lived within the boundary. The petition represents a large body of people that value Ledbury High Street enough to come up and sign a petition against an out of town Tesco Superstore, and is part of the evidence gathered for the planning department in Hereford. The petition seemed to me to be the easiest evidence to gather and we met many very pleasant people some even supporting the new Superstore who came up for a chat with no hard feelings. We are justly proud of the evidence gathered, but It seems to me..... strangely.... in a way you are making more of the petition than Lots are !
So THAT's the 'silent majority'....!
26 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:17
Andrew Warmington
Now, apparently, everyone who didn't sign the petition is presumed to be anti-LOTS. Including the genuinely unconcerned either way, those who never even heard about the petition, those who couldn't be bothered, were too busy at the time, don't want to get involved, etc. etc. etc.

Your earlier post was right Colin, I am going to give up trying to be funny. You are so much better at it than me.
Response to Valerie McLean
25 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:09
Hi again Valerie, I understand the logistics in asking everyone would make it an almost impossible task ... however as LOTS keep telling us that Ledbury is a vibrant, buzzing high street I would have thought that over the period of the petition being available to sign, in shops etc, that if the stores were not wanted as much as LOTS tell us they would have gained far more signitures. Don't you think this actually shows the number of people who a) don't agree with LOTS b) don't care either way. To expand on b, if people don't care either way then that really translates to a 'no' vote for LOTS, would you agree that if people did agree with LOTS they would certainly want to add their support. The whole of the LOTS campaign hinges on them getting the majority of people (including traders) to stand up and say no and despite all the town comparisons, the high profile posters and petition campaign and having a certain amount of support from the media to only acrue 27% of Ledburys population (which LOTS dispute as being purely Ledbury residents) amounts to a pretty dismal failure.
If LOTS are happy with this petition result, why are they now running another online one?
Even the report that Herefordshire County council says Ledbury only requires another approx 1,000 sqm of retail space fails to recognise the increase in population since the 2009 count (2009 - Population 9,900, 2011 - Population 13,031) if that trend continues then in the next 2 years Ledburys population will be at ~16,000 so by 2015 Ledbury ALONE will have a population of ~19,000 people, that does not include the growth throughout the HR8 district.

The figures speak for themselves.
Reality Check Lee
24 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:07
Hello Lee
Yes I agree with you that many people, especially politicians, obviously do not know what it is like to live on a budget. I come from a poor background and know what it is like to be hard up. Things are better for me now.but I still have to be careful. I do not think that the way forward is for an out of town superstore. It is the position and size of the proposal that I object to.The evidence is there to show that the High street would be very likely to suffer and jobs would be lost. I find that I shop in the High Street, the market and the two supermarkets. When I occasionally I have been on the other side of Hereford I find that the cheapest supermarket to visit ... having good quality basic food is Aldi....... much cheaper than Tesco. We obviously cannot buy everything we want in Ledbury.(Although I believe we could find everything we really need)
petition
23 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:45
Hello again Colin
I do not think that we claimed that the petition represented all of Ledbury! We could not ask everyone !
Being taken for a ride
22 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:42
Michael Lever
Some traders are better than others, that's why Tesco and Sainsbury's started with just one shop and now have several thousand, but whatever their operational differences the theme is selling. However, what the local traders fail to mention (at least not in public) is that many if not most of them are struggling as it is, so really it's unlikely to make much difference whether Tesco 's application is successful or not.

The difficulty for those that are struggling is not only the intense competition that all retailers are having to endure nowadays, whether from retailers better at selling, the internet, or shoppers prioritising/re-directing spending, but also that Ledbury's tourist 'shoppers' do not spend that much when they visit. Many if not all of the visitor/tourist attractions are free of charge and having visited the typical visitor, after wandering around and doing a bit of window-shopping, then spends a few pounds in a cafe or pub, or maybe an meal in a restaurant, but that's about it. The bulk of trade for Ledbury is from residents and workers in the area and the fact there is not enough money to go round for everyone is one reason long-established traders such as Rodways and Eager Electricals are closing.
Petition Population Update
21 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 15:11
As almost everything LESS put here is bein g questioned by LOTS members we thought we would do some further checking on the Ledbury population figures, guess what they make the LOTS petition look even more flimsy than it already is. These figures are avaialble for all to see at http://www.nsdatabase.co.uk/locationdetail.cfm?locationid=924 and are the actual figures used by Ledbury/Herefordshire Council.

So the updated percentage of people who signed the petition against any store (assuming they all live within the Ledbury boundry) is 27.45% of the 13,031 people (aged 15+) and according to one Ledbury councillor the population of the HR8 district is approx 25,000 which equates to only 14% signing the petition. The proposed store by Tescos and/or Sainsburys is actually not "hugely oversized" as stated by LOTS, especially when you factor in the 800 house being built in Ledbury and the migrant workers influs each year.

Now lets see Mr Warmington, Mr Cooke et all dispute.
Oh Dear Andrew
20 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 14:15
Conspiracy theory raises its head again .. laugh, I nearly wee'd myself, after your LOTS group accuse LESS members of creating conclusions where there are none ref portal item "Hijacked" by LOTS, you sit at your keyboard and accuse Tesco's of knowingly keeping shelves empty and your proof is a word of mouth confession to a councillor who no doubt is firmly in the LOTS camp, and you don't even bother to answer the figures presented to you on the petition etc .. and LOTS deny cherry picking.

I think anyone with half a brain would have more belief in co-operation between LOTS and certain councillors than they would Tesco's trying to starve Ledbury into submission.

Have you actually thought about why certain food items are cheaper in Gloucester than in Ledbury .. I'll give you a big clue, transport costs. Gloucester is closer to the main depot than Ledbury therefore it costs less to transport. You have no basis for your assumptions that prices will be higher, just as LOTS as a whole have no basis for their assumption that Ledbury high street will be "devastated", LOTS pander and promote the worries that traders understandable have .. the same worries they had when the current Tesco's was proposed, the same worries when Somerfields (now co-op) was proposed and the same worries when (shockingly) the hospital was proposed. I refer you to a Ledbury Reporter article dated 15th May 2000 - Former town councillor Ken Davies, who opposed the idea of a hospital on the Cattle Market site, said: "It's a disgrace. Why did 95% of the shopkeepers come out against it? It'll kill the town. We've never had to the opportunity to view alternative sites or alternative solutions. This is a backroom way of getting a nursing home on the most valuable land in town." - Chicken Little raises his head again.

While I am writing this rather long reply, I'd also like to draw your attention to a recent LOTS post on their group page "Anger Over supermarket sweep-up" where the LOTS congratulate Oakham on resisting the building of a TOWN CENTRE Tesco's, this is the same group whose spokesman, Mr Hadley, is quoted as saying that LOTS would WELCOME a town centre supermarket .. and LOTS accuse us of not having a clearly laid out agenda.
Mr Warmington - Flawed again
19 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:58
martin dudley
Nice to see our regular journalistic contributor cherry picking some facts again, this time regarding the membership of LESS - surely the application of a little thought and commoin sense would also tell him that no matter how many members were added en bloc those same members were and still are free to cancel their inclusion and delete their details, after all every time that a contributor posts a thread etc on the LESS page each and every one of the 429 members receives a notification through FaceBook itself and via mobuile phone if FaceBook is an added app - I know for sure that if I was added as a member of any group that I knew little of or did not wish to be a part of and kept getting notifications of comments etc I would be withdrawing my involvement with immediate effect - the simple fact of the matter is that no matter how the members became involved they have maintained their inclusion.

Of those included as members who joined en bloc Mr Warmington, many were and are mothers of children attending either Busy Bees pre school group or Ledbury Primary School, these local mothers incase you haven't noticed generally congregate together outside the school areas and discuss matters, some trivial, some not - many joined through the matter of discussion about a larger Tesco etc and were added through an invite of an already registered member, let me draw to your attention that these same groups of people are excatly the same groups of people that should have been asked opinions of by LOTS and were not - probably because they did not meet the criteria, that of being resaonably affluent with a large expendable income, but more likely that the answers and opinions they give do not suit the LOTS campaign, Ledbury people in favour of a new store is unacceptable whereas somebody for instance sake from Devon who opposes and supports LOTS is a welcome addition.

Incidentally of the 429 members Mr Warmington we can proudly say that almost all live within the HR8 postal code area and are exactly the kind of person that LOTS should have been asking opinion of when compiling their petition - I ask again just how many of the 3500 names can be held up as genuine locals with a vested interest in whatever the final outcome may be? Thankfully the county council are aware of such goings on and I am assured through the local government ombudsman that the petition will be closely scrutinised.
Reality Check done :)
18 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 13:39
jolene bloise
Lee ,
I`m behind you 100%,it`s good to see passion in what we believe in.
I can personally vouch that the majority of people added to the LESS fb page are aware of the situation and fully support LESS.They also happen to be people that have actually lived here a very long time. :)
Please if you are going to ask me questions anyone make sure their worthy of my reply.
The ball in Herefordshire Council's court…
17 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 11:42
Michael Lever
… is bouncing around, no doubt: so where will it end up?
Love all?
Reality check
16 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:11
Andrew Warmington
Lee, you have made by far the most eloquent point made from the pro-superstore side that I can think of. I'll try to answer it as best as I can.

I think there has been a lot of stereotyping going on here, on both sides. LOTS members are not all rich or posh and they also do have to live off a budget. Most of us also shop in supermarkets, for budget reasons or otherwise. Many of us, me included, are politically left wing and totally in sympathy with working class families getting by on a very tight budget that is only going to get tighter.

Where I disagree is the unspoken assumption that a superstore on the outskirts of town will make your food bill cheaper. If I thought it would, I would be in your camp. But, sadly, it won't and here's why. Consider two things.

First, why do you think is Gloucester Tesco cheaper than Ledbury Tesco? After all, what they sell is sourced from much the same suppliers. It is cheaper mainly because Gloucester is poorer on average than Ledbury and they price things to what they think the local market can bear.

Sainsbury's would do exactly the same if they set up here, once an initial price cutting war had fizzled out. And, as is quite likely, once they have put the Co-Op and most of the independents out of business, they would have a big enough chunk of the market that they could afford to hike the prices a bit more. That's business, as far as they are concerned.

There is a wider problem here, in that it is often harder for people on low incomes living in a relatively prosperous place like Ledbury than a poorer one like Gloucester. The fact is, unfortunately, that a superstore is not going to solve that problem and might well make it even worse.

I'm not quite sure if you had Ledbury Tesco in mind when you suggest there isn't food on the shelves after 7 p.m. It's certainly happened in some ranges at some times. That's mainly because (as the manager has admitted to a councillor) they have been told to disable the automatic reordering system and artifically create shortages.

Tesco are cynically doing this in order to convince people that the current store isn't big enough. They can afford to take short-term hits like that for the long-term gain. They have done this elsewhere before. They hold you and me and everyone else here in absolute contempt, and so do Sainsbury's for that matter. If I can convince you of nothing else, I hope I can get you to see this.
Response to the numbers game PS
15 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 09:44
By the way the 72 added at one time was done after the name change, those 72 were already members of the orginal group.
Response to the numbers game
14 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 09:38
I see you pick up one set of numbers Andrew, strange how you don't try to "pick holes" in the others .. oh you can't because they are LOTS own figures. I don't agree with your analysis of the LESS membership, I certainly wouldn't join a group just because "someone" added me and I would have thought that the majority of people would be in the same boat .. all that spam on your front page, can't believe you didn't realise you had been added so much earlier, anyway lets concentrate on the reality figures that show LOTS petition has 3,578 names from a population of 9,900 (as per Herefordshire County Population figures 2009), assuming that ALL are Ledbury residents (which we both know is not true) thats just 36% or if you take the HR8 district population, which is estimated at around 14,500 then its only 25%, not even close to a majority as LOTS seem to keep shouting about. Even that list of 43 traders who support LOTS is difficult to put into perspective as according to a number of LOTS members we have various figures for the number of traders in Ledbury, ranging from 83 to 180, I'd also like to see how many of those traders arrive in Ledbury at 8am and go home at 5.30pm (or pop into the closest out of town superstore to do their shopping). I tell you what heres a little challenge for LOTS, visit everyone of those traders and ask them how many of them actually - a) live in the HR8 district. b) do ALL their shopping in Ledbury. Oh and while they are at it, remove all the names from the petition that are not even residents of Herefordshire, that should give a much more realistic figure of LOTS support.

The only song and dance being done is by LOTS and their insistence that the minority dictate to the majority.
The numbers game
13 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 08:57
Andrew Warmington
"400 is still a few more than the 145 on LOTS :-)"

OK, can't resist taking the bait any longer. For the benefit of people who don't do Facebook, when you join a Facebook group you have to be added by the administrator. You don't have to supply any credentials but it's fair to assume that those who ask to join are genuinely supportive of the group and its aims.

However, administrators can also add who they like; these people can object if they want to, but inertia dictates that few will. I was surprised once to find I was a Facebook friend of Tottenham Hotspur. Well I do support them, but they aren't my friend, they've been letting me down for far too long! Still haven't got around to un-friending them of course.

So...if you read on LESS or LOTS that John Smith was added, its fair to infer he asked to be. Probably we'd all agree the same if it is two people, or three, or four ... but as the number gets higher, so it gets harder and harder to be sure that these are real committed supporters.

Lets for the sake of argument set the bar at five. That is hugely generous to LESS, for reasons I will explain shortly. Then, if you can face it, lets go through the two groups since they started in May and June and tot up the numbers, as I did a few days ago.

Result: LESS - 429 members, of which 264 added in batches of more than five, leaving 165. LOTS - 202 member, of which 47 added in batches of more than five, leaving 155. Not such an impressive difference now is it?

Set the bar at ten and LOTS outnumbers LESS because the largest ever batch added to LOTS was nine. Whereas, the largest added to LESS was 72. Yes, 72. Tell me they are all 72 committed supporters if you like, I'll remain sceptical.

This is all a load of shadow boxing at the end of the day, since both groups could be boiled down to a few dozen committed supporters and a floating mass of a couple of hundred mostly inactive sympathisers. Facebook group membership is not indicative of the general feeling in the town either way. But if LESS will make such a song and dance about it, these facts deserve to be pointed out.
Reality check
12 Wednesday, 12 October 2011 07:01
Lee Smith
Do any LOTS  members or people who have posted on here anti superstore, know what it means to live on a budget? Have you experienced having to buy cheap own brand items because that is all you can afford or thinking a packet of biscuits or chocolate bar is a luxury and can only be brought when all the other essentials are covered ? 
When faced with a choice the hard fact is that most people who are working class and have families would rather have  a much cheaper varied choice of goods than speciality over priced goods which are available in town the centre.
The unfortunate fact for you is that in these hard economic times the average person will go for the cheaper option choosing not to visit the  plush coffee shop or the boutique as money is better spent elsewhere.
Ledbury Town Centre is geared up for tourists, people who choose to spend the day taking in it's historic sights and tourist orientated shops and it's about time the residents of Ledbury had a store to shop, if they choose, which has a greater variety that suits all needs.
A couple of questions have been asked regarding what a new store will offer differently to that we already have,the answer food on the shelves after  7 pm,lines that are not changed every week and more choice for the consumer.You only have to visit larger Tescos and Sainsburys to see that.
I would love not to have to travel to Gloucester Tescos to do a large food shop not just to use my fuel vouchers I've gained in Ledbury but because some items are a lot cheaper.
Mr Cooke,Mr Hadley and the LOTS group it's time to wake up and smell the coffee... Sainsburys Fair Trade  if you choose, and see this from the view of the majority of Ledbury residents.
It's all about catering for everyone and not being compelled to go out of town to find the best available for myself  and my family.
PPS - Mr Cooke
11 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 20:06
martin dudley
You may be of an age where you will know the saying - "empty vessels make the most noise"

I get the distinct impression that there is only 1 group who continuously court the limelight, hugging the media known as The Ledbury Reporter and so often seen as the group making the most noise - empty vessels Mr Cooke, empty vessels, you will do well to remember that quote in times to come.
PS to Mr Cooke
10 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 19:27
400 is still a few more than the 145 on LOTS :-)
Response to Martin Cooke
9 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 18:41
I really think you need to go look at our Face Book GROUP (not Page) and see that there is a statement there .. just look on the right hand side. Every comment you have made on every post here has in some way tried to belittle another person, this actually makes you look very, very petty and I'm sure an embaressment to your LOTS comrades.

Show me anywhere where any LESS member states that we stand for the whole of Ledbury .. we don't, we say we stand for the majority which is true .. even by using LOTS's figures;

43 traders signing to say they don't want a store, using the figures you quoted of 143 points of sale that is only 30% or traders, 3,578 signitures on a petition, assuming they are all Ledbury residents (which I doubt very much) is only 36% of the Ledbury population and 25% of the population of the HR8 area and I agree with you the LESS structure is certainly not as dictatorship as LOTS and we don't go around asking people to pay for "independant" reports or printing costs, neither do we try to scare people with cut and paste googled items in order for the minority to dictate to the majority.

Everything you have written is done simply to cover up how worried LOTS are about what happened at the Council meeting, and as you reminded me of a saying I'll remind you of a fable .. its called Chicken Little, just in case you don't know it he kept saying the sky was falling eventually he lost his standing in the town and since "the sky is falling" has come to mean a mistaken belief that a disaster is imminent .. sounds so much like LOTS.
LOTS - Hijack or Crackerjack?
8 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 18:18
martin dudley
Well, having read responses on here from obvious LOTS members i'd edge towards the one time childrens TV programme Crackerjack.

How patronising and rude can some people be? Well the answer to that is quite simple, LOTS are the same band of people who when confronted with anyone who dare to question their spin and opinion on their websites conveniently choose to delete any thread that offers a truth or fact that contradicts their recycled yarns and then bans the poster from ever being able to pass comment again, all one sided and as long as opposition is offered than anything goes - dare to disagree or offer a reasoned point of debate and its kaput for the person in support. This is the same group whose members have called me discourteous, pedantic and a liar!!!

LATS/LESS are something that LOTS cannot profess to be - We are predominantly all local people, all local people with a good ammount of years behind us as community memnbers and not people who have been here for next to 5 minutes, with respect to all of our members we are all middle and working class and we were all here before the present Tesco store evolved, we have all been here to see the town grow over the last 2 decades from just under 5000 in 1991 to over 13,000 in 2011, many of us will still be here to see the 800 new homes being built and here to welcome the estimated 3000 new inhabitants that those same houses will bring......Just how many of those 3500 names on LOTS petition can say the same thing? The scrutiny of that same petition will doubtless throw up a few who can't, I know of not 1 Ledbury person who was asked!

Aside from LOTS though, we are now all witness to a totally inept town council being led by an even more inept mayor who clearly has no idea of procedure etc and in showing this weakness is now open to accusation of being easily led and influenced - a definite case of the blind leading the gullible, and what a shambles they are - the laughing stock of the county.

These same councillors need to remember that their reigns can be as short or as long lived as the electorate wish when it comes to the next election and I can assure certain members that votes they received last time round will not be forthcoming in the next election. They need to take a long hard look at themselves and question as to whether they are acting in their own interests or the interests of the people who voted them in.

Let me the first to offer service of 1 pair of good sized tweezers for splinter removal, to be used as and when certain councillors decide to climb down off the fence.

Shape up or ship out!!
In support of Terri
7 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 18:01
Michael Lever
I agree with what you have said.
RE: No Smoke Without Fire
6 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 17:35
Terri
In response to Martin Cooke's comment earlier:

I note your comments posted earlier today copied in my text below aimed at Colin & Michael & would say how very rude and very shortsighted of you, the Save Ledbury site & LOTS. This attitude totally shows exactly what you think of anybody who thinks differently to you, it makes for very bad reading and is again speaking volumes in its txt, shame on you for belittling anyone who would like a better shopping establishment for foods and disposable goods in Ledbury in which to do their shopping:
Here it is again in all its glory:

You know as well as I do that LESS have no policy statement, only have a Facebook membership of about 400, have no organised and visible management group, have undertaken no surveys, questionaires of local people in the town, appear to have no links with the local business community, have not undertaken any analytical studies of their own of the impact of Tesco on a small town. It looks for all the world that LESS have not done anything to determine for themselves what people think and want other than make a lot of noise.

Less/LATS have not been out on the streets of Ledbury or anywhere else in the Uk for that matter bamboozling people with tins or begging bowls, trying to take money off already hard up people, old, young, families etc. The whole reason that people would like a better store in Ledbury is because these very people are already struggling and trying to make ends meet and you cause us of being out of touch with the people on the street.
A government report recently states that 1 in 4 children will be living in poverty and this is from middle income families too, with their incomes falling below that of the 1970s. This is why affordable foods and necessities are key in this debate, it is a fact and not fiction.
Why also do we need all of the things you mention anyway, in order to have our own opinions for why we would like a bigger store to shop in?
Just because we are not using big words and cannot quote this report and that finding, we do not hijack meetings trying to force our opinions on Councillors etc, does any of that mean that our views are any less important.
Please think on before you attack peoples opinions, this is something that all can have an opinion on surely, without the need of expenses no one can afford!
Acting like children
5 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 16:39
Debbie Baker
Seriously, do we really need to try and belittle people for their opinions, you do not do your cause any good when you keep saying things like 'you maybe the age ....'
It just makes you look like the same age of my youngest child who happen to be at the nursery.
State your opinion by all means, but do no start demeaning others for having theirs. It just makes you look rather shallow.
The whole point is if you feel the need to write this artical some how some where things went wrong. We don't usually need to justify why we did what we did, unless there is a need to, or there is cause to be concerned.
LOTS Hijack of Council Special Meeting. What a disgrace this is!
4 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 15:33
Terri
I think that no matter how much it is protested, LOTS did pass around their paperwork before the meeting & then this was accepted by the Councillors as a reason to vote against Ledbury residents having a better shopping choice. Was this in accordance with legislation or not, was it ethical or not, I think that the above refuting claims of any ill doing and underhand actions speak volumes without anything else being said!
Ledbury needs and deserves to be able to offer to its Ledbury residents & HR8 postcode residents, an affordable option for their shopping requirements, in what we all know are extremely hard economic times. The residents have as much of a right & need to feed their families too don't they, their livelihoods and survival are important too!
No Smoke Without Fire
3 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 12:13
martin alastair cooke
Michael

I actually think there is some scope for a more unified approach to the development of Ledbury that would see the shopping needs addressed. However, the current process, as you know, is specific to the planning application by Tesco for a superstore three times the current capacity.

Colin

You sound as if you speak for the whole of Ledbury, you don't.

You know as well as I do that LESS have no policy statement, only have a Facebook membership of about 400, have no organised and visible management group, have undertaken no surveys, questionaires of local people in the town, appear to have no links with the local business community, have not undertaken any analytical studies of their own of the impact of Tesco on a small town. It looks for all the world that LESS have not done anything to determine for themselves what people think and want other than make a lot of noise.

You may be of an age where you will know the saying - "empty vessels make the most noise"
Town Council Meeting Not 'Hijacked' by LOTS
2 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 10:08
You really do seem to miss the point here Save Ledbury people, councillor Jupp should NEVER have even suggested using the LOTS report as part of the councils objections, and the council should NEVER have voted for it to be so, all that has shown is that a large part of Ledbury council can't be bothered to find the information themselves and as the "information" (and I use that term very loosely) was presented by a group who are against any out of town development it is very understandable that a whole host of people are going to think that something isn't quite right here and no matter how many statements you issue like the above it won't stop people thinking "theres no smoke without fire" add to this the number of councillors who have already stated they don't want any out of town developments and those flames seem to burn a little brighter.

No matter how you look at it LOTS, whether it be face book group membership, petitions or even town traders you ARE the minority trying to dictate and bully the majority into submission.
Headlines revisited
1 Tuesday, 11 October 2011 09:17
Michael Lever
Galvanised by an incisive comment by a local trader in Ledbury's authentic High Street - "I fear that a minority of people against the superstores are dictating to the majority in favour" - word on the streets is that the majority of Ledbury people, approximately 63%-76%, fed up with being told where to shop, are heard to mutter "calm down dears, it's only a supermarket."