Frome is a delightful market town.
I lived there for ten years in the 1980s bringing up small children and working as a National Childbirth Trust (NCT) teacher.
A bunch of us set up the Frome NCT playgroup, while another bunch of us – the West Country Childbirth Group – founded the birthing room in nearby Bath.
Back then, there was Safeways (only one) and a cattle market every Wednesday in the market place.
Now the cattle market has moved out-of-town and Frome is awash with supermarkets.
And now Tesco has plans to invade of Frome’s historic Saxon Vale.
Whaaaat? Another unwanted soulless hypermarket in this precious town with its thriving Artisan market and independent shops?
There will be a public meeting on Wednesday 1 December 2010 at 7.30pm at the Cheese and Grain in Frome.
John Harris, Guardian journalist, will be speaking at the meeting.
[PS He wrote brilliant article published 1 December 2010 and pledged at the meeting to fight Tesco and plot positive alternatives added 9 Dec]
The very successful Transition group, Sustainable Frome, will be involved.
I will be talking about what I have learnt from the No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaign.
Kevin McCloud of Channel 4’s Grand Designs will speak from the floor.
Too big Tesco
If you Google the two words: Tesco + Stop, you will see how many UK towns are using valuable energy trying to stop supermarkets, such as Tesco, destroying the fabric of their communities.
I am not against the odd Tesco supermarket, and I am certainly not against anyone who shops in Tesco.
But I do object to aggressive empire-building from food corporates with the power to overrule the wishes of councils and communities.
What do you think?
(Pic of Cheap St, Frome, from Wikipedia)
<h3>Update – added 9 December 2010</h3>
Over 300 locals attended the meeting and many people spoke, the vast majority directed at the developer, Quentin Webster, representing St James’s Investments Ltd.
The mood was overwhelmingly anti-Tesco and pro-local character and shops.
Quentin Webster took it well.
Halfway through the meeting, Quentin Webster said publicly: “I hate Tesco. I do.”
Publicly, I asked him why.
He said: “They are immoral as developers.”
He added St James’s Investments was a tempering force on Tesco.
And John Harris was a funny, acerbic and heart-stirring speaker.