CEN article: Protesters break into song to keep Tesco out


CAMPAIGNERS sang in the street to stop Tesco opening a new Cambridge store.
Supporters of the “No Mill Road Tesco” campaign gathered at the proposed site for a mass busking session on Saturday.

As reported in the News, there has been a backlash to Tesco’s plans to move onto the former Wilco site in Mill Road. Campaigners want to maintain Mill Road’s mix of independent stores.

Campaigner Dr Suzanne Collins, 57, said: “I signed the petition weeks ago. Some people say Mill Road is the longest road of individual shops in England. It would be a shame to lose that.”

Dr Collins, of St Philips Road, added: “It is the only cosmopolitan part of Cambridge and Tesco will annihilate that.”

Ms Amanda Hall, 50, of Cromwell Road, is part of the events sub-committee for the campaign and helped to direct the choir.

She said: “I think Tesco have enough of a presence.

“They are trying to fill in the cracks at the local level, but there is a knock-on effect and the impact that the nature of the street will change.”

Protesters are also concerned about the effect a Tesco shop would have on traffic levels in the area.

Ms Shelia Jeffery, 50, of Sedgwick Street, said: “I have looked at the planning application and the report for Tesco says each delivery will take 40 minutes. The access here is ridiculous – it is absolutely unrealistic.

“They will have to deliver outside the front and block the main road or go around all the narrow backstreets. It will be so dangerous.”

Steve Wynn, 58, is manager at independent department store Cutlacks on Mill Road.

He said: “Tesco is unfair competition. It seems they come in and undercut local businesses.”
Volunteers handed out leaflets throughout the weekend asking people to support their campaign and collected signatures for a petition.

A public meeting held at the end of September drew almost 250 residents keen to speak-out against the supermarket giant.

A fighting fund set up at last month’s meeting has so far raised more than £1,000.

A website and Facebook group has also been set-up as part of the campaign.

Tesco has submitted three applications to Cambridge City Council concerning the move.

The application will be open to consultation until October 16.

08 October 2007

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