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Tell us the truth demand Anti-Superstore Campaigners PDF Print E-mail
Supermarket Debate
Written by LOTS   
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 11:28

On the key issue of jobs, Tesco stands accused of bare-faced deception in its superstore planning application, currently out for public consultation with Herefordshire Council.

It appears Tesco is falsely claiming that all one hundred and twenty five jobs at its existing Orchard Lane store are full time, and that the remaining seventy five new jobs at the proposed by-pass store will also be full time.  Despite the blatant nature of the falsehood, Tesco PR officers are remaining tight-lipped, even though they have been repeatedly asked to provide a clear breakdown of full-, part- and ‘full-time equivalent’ jobs now and in the future.

‘It’s a matter of serious public concern that a supposedly responsible company like Tesco should make dishonest claims to planners and at the same time raise false hopes of jobs among young and unemployed people in Ledbury’ said Annette Crowe, vice chairwoman of LOTS. ‘We ask them again: tell us the truth on jobs. What is the problem?’

The jobs issue has been an inflammatory topic since Tesco first revealed plans to treble its retail space in Ledbury in an out of town location. Campaigners against the move have been accused of ‘nimbyism’  and being out of touch with the concerns of ordinary working people in the town by seeking to deny job creation at a time of increasing unemployment, charges they strongly deny.

‘Tesco continues to cynically whip up social division in our town for its own purposes’ said Rich Hadley, LOTS chairman . ‘If you look beyond the headlines and PR bluster, it’s quite clear that the company is deceiving the very people which it purports to serve.   Never mind ‘every little helps’ – it’s more like Very Few Jobs’ he added.


Meanwhile LOTS is unimpressed with Tesco PR’s denial last week in the Ledbury Reporter that full time positions at Orchard Lane will be downgraded to part time at the by-pass store.

‘We have no idea what they are talking about,’ said Rich Hadley. ‘But the fact they are going on record to make such a denial, does make you wonder what’s happening behind the scenes. Tesco is an incredibly slippery customer – nothing would come as a surprise.’

It’s a matter of pubic record that cost reduction and new self-scan technology are being aggressively applied by all the superstore multiples which means that employee numbers are steadily being cut back – despite a big increase in supermarket floor space.

The jobs question is a key issue for planners and councillors at Herefordshire Council who will take into account supermarket job creation claims versus those potentially lost in the local economy when the planning application is decided on later in the autumn.  LOTS has amassed strong evidence which demonstrates that far from creating employment, out of town superstores may cause hundreds of jobs to be lost in the local economy.  It can also point to bogus job claims by Tesco PR at the planning application stage in other locations.

Save Ledbury

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:58
Comments (4)
Evidence on Lost Jobs
4 Thursday, 15 September 2011 10:10
Rich Hadley
@ Colin Marschall: read this, a fully referenced statement of jobs likely to be created and jobs at risk or lost in and around Ledbury.

and this:

and this (it's quite long but explains everything you need to know)

And before anyone objects that some of the research is out of date - it's not. Academic research rests upon the principle that research findings remain valid (and therefore accepted) until they are disproved by other research programmes.

Hence we don't keep having to repeat experiments to prove the existence of gravity or that the earth revolves around the sun. It has been established and accepted as scientifically proved.

So far, there have been no convincing rebuttals of the DETR 1998, Porter and Raistrick 1998 and Tym et al 2006 on the question of the impact of out of town retail developments.

Other additional evidence for the Jobs Effect can be deduced from the fact that local unemployment in Ledbury is the lowest in Herefordshire (a thriving High Street), while Leominster (with a dead town centre and a big out of town superstore) is the among the highest.

Ledbury has a diversified local economy into which tourism income is injected. The main driver of this income rests upon the thriving High Street - talk to visitors about they value here, and it's all about distinctive, quirky shops, traditional butchers and greengrocers, a cobbler, an ironmonger, bookshops, non-chain cafes, jewellers, up-market homeware shops, delis, etc

If the High Street here goes belly up, then so does the visitor sector, the local rural supply chain, as well as all the service sector operators that service the shops and suppliers. Hence the estimate of 276 jobs on average lost when an out of town superstore opens plus another 30 or more if Ledbury Welding shuts up shop. That's up to 300 full time jobs lost. Versus a paltry 20 or so full time equivalent jobs at Tesco (made up of the 75 part time jobs they claim to create). Do the math.

New research from CPRE concerning the Ledbury food economy will be published on 21 Sept, alongside a parallel piece of research into the non-food retail sector.

Did you know that Ledbury High St sustains an astonishing 570 jobs and over £30million of trade in the local economy?

Mr Marschall, no - not just copy and paste. It's time for you to face the facts.
3 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 19:11
Sorry have to comment again. I'd be interested to see the "strong" evidence or is it just another case of "copy & paste" politics as much of the LOTS campaign is based around. I'd also like to ask LOTS to answer the questions deleted from their FB page, with FACTS relevant to Ledbury.. however .. I won't be holding my breath on that one, Tesco's are saying there will be 75 new jobs, whether they are full time, part time or casual really doesn't matter, if they are part time then that caters for a lot of families with both adults working (I suspect a number of LOTS members wouldn't understand both adults having to work)
2 Wednesday, 14 September 2011 19:05
Hmm .. in that case lets have Sainsbury's instead
1 Tuesday, 13 September 2011 14:54
martin alastair cooke
Even if Tesco figures are correct there is no doubt in my mind that the number employed will be more than superceded by those made unemployed - either directly as a result of local shops closing or via the food chain supply - in both the short and long term.

Tesco have form on this, claims about staffing as well as its impact on the local community. There is no guarantee it seems that staff would be appointed locally. Their silence is very familiar to me, who has seen Tesco developments rise and fall in other parts of the country.