A meeting was held on 31st January between Tesco representatives and key local organisations including Sherborne Chamber of Trade & Commerce – we’re sharing a few key facts from that meeting with you. We can guarantee they are factual.
Access is proposed from the already busy Horsecastles Lane – the existing hotel entrance widened to create a permanent service access road and dual customer entrance/exit roads. Mayhem comes to mind.
To dispel the myth of ‘200 jobs’ on offer, Tesco’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Melanie Chiswell, discloses 75% of these will be part-time. Deduct the loss of 35 hotel jobs and subsequent downturn in town centre employment and it’s clear the ‘new’ employment offered by Tesco will soon become a net loss to the local employment market. Paul Hughes, Tesco’s Regional Development Manager also says “they cannot guarantee jobs will go to local people”.
Tesco says its research shows 30% of Sherborne’s town centre trade comes from tourism. Odd that they think demolishing the largest hotel of just two in the town won’t create an immediate downturn in our tourism pound – impacting not only local shops but also restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and local transport services.
Tesco bases its assumptions of Sherborne’s shopping habits with an ‘independent telephone survey’ of 500 households [Parish Records for 2011 show 4493 households in Sherborne http://www.dorsetforyou.com/331591] Melanie Chiswell spins this to say ‘Half the people they have spoken to do their main weekly shop outside Sherborne’ ie 47.7% of the 500 they’ve reached. Or in other words Melanie around 6% of Sherborne’s households – but every little helps!
From Arfon Hughes, MD of Mango Planning (consultants to Tesco) who said…
The worrying thing is, he was SERIOUS.