Letters - May 14, 2012

Plans for the redevelopment of Poulton on display to the public.'Property Director for Dransfield Properties Ltd, Andrew Malley.

Plans for the redevelopment of Poulton on display to the public.'Property Director for Dransfield Properties Ltd, Andrew Malley.

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WE were concerned by some of the comments made in letters published from two readers – who both, coincidentally, live in Hambleton – regarding the proposal for a new branch of Booths in Poulton. Both letters use very similar wording so the comments below refer to both.

It is doubtful that a branch of Asda would create ‘many hundreds of jobs’ or would bring people ‘flocking back to Poulton town centre’ or bring ‘many thousands more shoppers into the town centre’ to quote the two Hambleton readers.

It would be interesting to know what evidence they have for this view?

There are already plenty of multinational supermarkets in the area – including a branch of Asda which the two readers from Hambleton both recommend.

Some stores have more than one branch and all are within easy travelling distance, with large car parks or on bus routes: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S.

Everyone is free to compare prices and choose which supermarket to use. Similarly other supermarkets are free to submit planning applications for Poulton, a point made by Booths at the exhibition of their plans held over two days in the Teanlowe Centre.

The Fylde is fortunate in having that rarity – a local firm still owned and run successfully by the family of the original founder.

Booths recognises and values its place in the local communities where it has branches and provides useful and practical support for local organisations in those towns.

The two readers from Hambleton do not mention the plans which propose a branch of Asda also propose the demolition of Poulton Library (newly refurbished at some cost). A replacement library would be built on the first floor of another building planned for the present Teanlowe car park.

Statistics from Lancashire Libraries show Poulton Library is one of the most successful in the county in its usage and community involvement. No library in Lancashire is situated entirely on the first floor of a building – what effect would that have on library usage?

Finally – a new building would be erected on the Teanlowe car park, naturally leading to a marked reduction in car parking spaces.

Booths in Garstang has three hours’ free car parking through an agreement with Wyre Council. As Poulton is also in Wyre a similar plan for three hours free parking is to be expected.

Carol Woolley chairman

Christine Storey Hon secretary

Poulton Historical Society

REGARDING Booths vs Asda in Poulton, let’s keep it short and sweet.

In the red corner why not let Booths have their store if the deal is totally tied up as they say in their promotional handout – just let them get on with it.

In the Blue corner, if Asda have the deal tied up, then let them get on with it.

If Asda have less space with their developer, let’s see one of the really good new smaller size Asda stores of around 12,000sq ft or so, this will then keep the competitive edge in the town and we get two for the price of one.

Is that not what most supermarket offers are based on these days – and with that format, hopefully it is the town and the customers who wins the fight, not commercial interest.

Tony Ward

Thornton

I HAVE read with dismay readers’ letters supporting the proposed development by Dransfield Properties for Asda.

Asda is a wholly-owned division of the giant American Retailer, Walmart.

There have been many protests in the US over the practises of the firm.

They, along with other retailers, have been accused of driving prices down on UK goods to a level where local producers go out of business.

Their claim to be the lowest priced retailer has been successfully challenged.

They have been investigated for dubious pricing practices.

Booths is a local British North West company with a good reputation for fair trading and for their treatment of their workforce.

The proposed development by Booths does not alter the present footprint of the shopping centre; it will include many of the empty premises in the Teanlowe Centre and will, I’m sure, fill up the other empty units.

The Post Office will stay where it is and the library will still be accessible without having to climb stairs or use a lift.

I think that Asda is a company whose track record makes it an unsuitable addition to Poulton.

Peter Woodworth

Fouldrey Avenue

Poulton

I’M no big Asda fan, but those in Poulton thinking Booths would bring that bit of something special to their town centre should think again. It’s a supermarket, built to create profit for its owners, and nothing more. Yes, they are lovely stores.

Yes, they stock lovely produce.

And yes, I enjoy shopping there.

But when I have been in places like Lytham – where the store is on the periphery of the town centre, I really don’t go into the town itself. And Booths has no reason to want us to. Look at the proliferation of charity shops now in Lytham centre, where once there were lovely retailers. Lytham has always had high-end stores. But high rents have forced independent retailers out, as footfall in the town has waned over the years – and the high-end supermarket has not helped at all.

We all need supermarkets. But we need to be aware of the potential harm they can do as well.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

I AM writing on behalf of the RSPCA Fylde Branch to sincerely thank everyone who gave so generously to our collection at the Tesco Metro Store in Cleveleys during National RSPCA Week.

We raised an amazing £721.73.

I also wish to convey our gratitude to the many Fylde Branch volunteers who, again, made this annual event so successful.

Mrs M Bijsterbosch

Hon Sec RSPCA Fylde Branch

North Albert Street

Fleetwood