We're not defending the right to have stores by any of the specific companies involved, just the right for residents to have a diversity of retail outlets and the right to have a say in what shops open where.
With the closure of B&Q, we now are forced to go to the Abingdon or Witney stores, respectively miles and miles further away. This means that local people who do not have a car will not be able to go to these stores, and those with a car will be forced to drive, or drive much further than they would have had to do before; an overall net loss for the environment, and an increase in costs for the shoppers.
Temple Cowley and the Templar's Square shopping precinct had a good balance of shops; with the Co-operative supermarket and many individual shops, such as butchers and bakers in the centre. With a new massive Sainsbury's supermarket, will these businesses be threatened by this. If they close, will we not be loosing out with respect to our choices.
Where are we to go now for our DIY needs? There's Powells on the Oxford Road, who will benefit from this, and I'm glad for that, because it is good to support this great local independent business, but Powells is a small business mainly focussed on the trades, and doesn't have the wide reach that B&Q does.
Then there's Sainsbury's Homebase up in Horspath. It's an inferior store, and it belong to Sainsbury's, and it's again further for us to go.
How many Sainbury's stores do they think we need?
And what the hell do the council think they're doing? I spoke to staff in now nearly empty store who said that despite petitions to the council, who could have intervened, they did nothing to stop this happening.
Have our neo-liberal Labour-run council got shares in Sainsbury's or something? What is it with them? Why do they blindly and arrogantly continue to encourage the closing and redevelopment of our local facilities in spite of the best interests of the local tax paying residents?
Us residents of East Oxford are being affected in numerous ways:
* we have lost of video shop on the Cowley Road, replaced by a convenience store competing with the established Tesco store and affecting local business' trade.
* Brookes are developing student residences in Headington and on the land which is St Clement's car park, despite the protests of residents and local independent businesses.
* the land on the green at Manzil way is being desicrated for a new residential development.
* the old offices of People & Planet at Union Street and the land that Travis Perkins was on is now going for residential development.
* Temple Cowley Pool is to close.
* and to top it all off, a major DIY retail outlet used by home DIY enthusiasts and trades people alike is being replaced by another unneeded and unwanted supermarket.
We say, BOYCOTT ALL SAINSBURY'S STORES IN OXFORD, including the smaller convenience sized stores, the larger supermarkets and Homebase. Let them know that we don't want their stores eveywhere, and we don't accept having our video stores, our DIY stores, replaced by yet another supermarket.