Archive for October 2007

Compassion in World Farming’s week of action against Tesco

We have received information on a week of action against Tesco, this time on animal welfare grounds. This may be of interest to some of our supporters.

Compassion in World Farming is organising a week of action targeting Tesco – calling on the supermarket to stop selling eggs from caged hens. M&S and Waitrose have stopped selling cage eggs, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Co-op have all made pledges to do the same, but Tesco and Asda refuse to budge.

We’re launching the week of action with a demonstration outside Sir Terry Leahy’s home store (also close to Tesco HQ) on Saturday 3 November 10.30am to 2.30pm. The demo will be peaceful and entirely lawful. We’ll be handing out leaflets and postcards to shoppers and inviting local media. The location is:

Tesco Express, Hammond Court ,
Hammond Street Road,

Another Tesco in London stopped – campaigning works!

Following the recent defeat for Tesco in Ireland comes the news that another proposed Tesco store in Tolworth (London) has also been stopped.

ThisIsMoney reports that:

“Plans to build a superstore and 662 homes at Tolworth, near Kingston, south west London, have been withdrawn in the face of all-out opposition from residents and shopkeeper. […]
The decision comes after a Competition Commission’s report highlighted concerns about the emergence of ‘Tesco towns’ where only one company can prosper.”

This appears to be a very similar situation to Mill Road, With a large Tesco within 2 miles.

We hope that Tesco will do right thing and withdraw their plans for a Mill Road Tesco in Cambridge.

ThisIsMoney also reported earlier this year on the ‘Sly tricks of the supermarkets‘.

Public events meeting

A meeting will be held on Thursday 25th October at 6pm in the Baptist Church on Mill Road. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the next public events to be organised by the campaign. Please do come along if you would like to get involved and help with the organisation of these events.

A general public meeting is also being arranged and details will be notified to all our supporters.

Press release: Leader of Cambridge City Council calls for Office of Fair Trading intervention

The following press release below has been issued by the Leader of Cambridge City Council.

The letter to the Office of Fair Trading from the Leader of Cambridge City Council can be read online.

Competition review needed on Tesco proposal

The Leader of Cambridge City Council has called for the Office of Fair Trading to investigate proposals for a Tesco on Mill Road.

Local residents and traders are very concerned about the effect that a Tesco Express Store on the site would have on the independent traders of Mill Road. Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith has written to the Office of Fair Trading asking for an urgent review by the Competition Commission.

Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith commented:

“Tesco already has three supermarkets and three Express stores in Cambridge and has very few major rivals in the city. The addition of a Tesco store in Mill Road will further increase the company’s dominance within Cambridge as well as risking seriously damaging the diverse and independent stores on Mill Road.

“I have asked for an urgent investigation by the Competition Commission into Tesco’s proposed new store.”

Richard Rippin from the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign said:

“We’re delighted that we have cross party support at the City Council and that Cllr Nimmo-Smith has taken the step of referring this matter to the OFT. The incredibly strong feeling among local people and local politicians gives us confidence that together we can keep Tescos out and keep Mill Road special”

Article in ‘The Grocer’

The Campaign has been featured in ‘The Grocer’ today.

Article in ‘The Grocer’

CEN article: More than 4,000 say no to new Tesco

MORE than 4,000 people have signed up to stop Tesco opening a new supermarket in Cambridge.

A 4,136-signature petition was formally handed to Cambridge City Council on Friday.

Continue reading ‘CEN article: More than 4,000 say no to new Tesco’ »

Local Secrets – ‘No Tesco on Mill Road’

This article below was published in Local Secrets on 19th October 2007.

In the next of our City Viewpoints features local correspondent Rob Coe defends Mill Road’s right to resist the ‘Tescopoly’ of our towns and cities.

Only in the last few weeks was it confirmed that Tesco wanted to move into the old Wilco site on Mill Road.

TescopolyFor Mill Road, read the Haight-Ashbury, Camden Town or Greenwich Village: a bohemian treasure and a microcosm of 21st Century British life. In addition to the traditional British independent retailers the road is also a vital resource for immigrant and international students and a tourist attraction of its own. On one of the country’s longest shopping streets, its possible to buy anything from an abacus to a xylophone, with restaurants that span the world from Brazil to Bangladesh and Turkey to Thailand side by side.

Tesco is a threat to its unique charms, damaging local traders and using its corporate muscle to create a bland high street. People come from near and far to Mill Road because of its very vibrancy. But if the chains move in it will lose its identity and vitality. This means those people will no longer have a reason to come here. Every little certainly doesn’t help.

Safety of all road users is another big worry. The increased traffic Tesco will produce doesn’t sit nicely with the City Council’s drive to reduce car usage within the ring road and its constant deliveries will unavoidably contribute to congestion out of all proportion to its size. Articulated lorries unloading out the front and limited parking space for customers is completely unacceptable in terms of noise, congestion and road safety.

Opposition to Tesco has brought out the best in Mill Road. The outpouring of love for Mill Road has been awe inspiring. There has been an unprecedented campaign against the spectre of Tesco. The action group has launched a high profile guerrilla marketing campaign coordinating letter writing, media appearances, a Facebook site and a petition amongst other measures.

If we can take this opportunity to foster something positive in our area beyond just a defensive response we can improve our quality of life, our local resources and get that feeling that we live in a real community – something that sadly is often in short supply.

Tesco has been beaten before on Unthank Road in Norwich, a similar neighbourhood to Cambridge threatened by the retail giant’s incessant development.

Mill Road is a real local secret. Tesco is not.

The deadline for objections to the planning applications has been extended by the City Council by one week to Friday 19 October. Details of how to oppose these plans and get involved with the campaign are at

Published in Local Secrets, 19th October 2007.

Student media coverage: Post strike delays Tesco

The article below was published by Varsity, one of the two student newspapers at the University of Cambridge.

Postal strike buys time for Mill Road protesters as deadline is extended

Campaigners against the proposed construction of a Tesco supermarket on Mill Road have received unexpected help from the postal strike this week. Cambridge City Council announced that the deadline for voicing objections against the build will be extended by one week to allow for sluggish rates of delivery.

Last Friday, a petition of over 2,250 signatures was delivered to the Council’s Planning Department by members of the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign and their sister Facebook group, Let’s Turn Mill Road into Chains Free Zone.

Many cash strapped students are welcoming proposals to open a branch of Tesco’s in the city centre, but protestors claim that the new store would threaten the independent food stores for which the area is famous. “Mill Road is totally unique in Cambridge in the range of locally run food shops, and has most of the speciality shops in Cambridge such as those for Chinese, Korean, Indian and Arabian foods. Tesco invades all these markets with its own organic and specialty brands,” says Mike Riste, an Emma student who lives near Mill Road. “It seems totally unnecessary to have another supermarket in the locality.”

Kevin Tarbit of Mill Road’s Andrew Northrop Butchers told Varsity that “the community spirit will be lost if this goes ahead, and I think it will as Tesco are such a force to be reckoned with. Tesco are greedy, unfair competition and have too much of a monopoly.”

Some local shopkeepers still appear to be unconcerned by the plans. Philippa Dennis, who owns the Limoncello delicatessen directly opposite the proposed Tesco site, says, “I don’t really see Tesco as a huge problem. We get a lot of business here so we’re not worried.”

The future of the proposed Mill Road Tesco will be determined when the council’s Planning Committee meets on November 1. Jim Jepps, a campaigner for the No Mill Road Tesco group, is optimistic about the protestors’ chances of preventing the new store being built. “Our impression is that Tesco are getting worried,” he told Varsity. “They may well not go ahead as they are getting so much bad press out of it. The point is you can go to a Tesco anywhere, but there’s only one Mill Road.”

Varsity, 19th October 2007 

Press release: 100s More Names on “Stop Tesco’s” Petition

Just a week after a petition signed by thousands of local people was presented to Cambridge City Council, opposing Tesco’s plans to open a store on the city’s iconic Mill Road, another huge list of objectors will be handed into the Guildhall this Friday.

Campaign Co-ordinator Sonia Cooter, who will be presenting the new petition, said:

“Clearly we’re delighted that hundreds more people have signed up to the campaign in the last week. People who live and work around Mill Road really don’t want Tesco’s marching in and wrecking the unique character of our neighbourhood – and this is what we will be impressing on Tesco’s corporate affairs manager Michael Kissman, who we hope to be meeting soon.”

She added

“Do Tesco’s really want to move into area where thousands of people are saying “GO AWAY”, when they are already so well represented in the Cambridge area?”

The date for objections to Tesco’s current planning applications for the Mill Road site expires on the 19th but it is expected that several more applications would need to be lodged if the scheme was to go ahead and a local furore, that has already attracted national attention, seems destined to run on for the foreseeable future.

CEN article: More than 2,250 join anti-Tesco campaign

A PETITION of more than 2,250 signatures will be handed to the council to protest against a new Tesco opening in Cambridge. Continue reading ‘CEN article: More than 2,250 join anti-Tesco campaign’ »