Archive for 30th November 2007

CEN article: Pupils add their voice to new Tesco debate

Cambridge - St Philip's Primary School Children Tesco Protest
Year 6 pupils at St Philip’s School with their protest letters

PRIMARY schoolchildren have joined the fight against a planned new Tesco in Mill Road.

Youngsters from nearby St Philip’s Primary School have bombarded the Newswith letters criticising plans by the supermarket giant to open an Express store at the former Wilco site.

The flurry of letters follows a school project on the issue, which saw Year 6 pupils take to the streets to interview 234 people on Mill Road, with 70 per cent saying ‘no’ to Tesco.

It follows a demonstration by 600 residents against the plans on Saturday, while a 4,136-name petition has also been submitted to Cambridge City Council opposing the proposals.

The results of the pupils’ poll are yet another blow to the proposals, which campaigners fear will kill off many of the Mill Road’s small shops and ruin the road’s vibrant community spirit.

Nine-year-old Chloe Beddall was passionately against the plans, saying:

“I would absolutely hate it if all the little businesses were forced to shut down.

All these important shops will never be used again if Tesco moves in.”

And 10-year-old Archie Proctors added: “What about the traffic?

“How can we fit big lorries down the already-full street? I would hate to bike down an even more dangerous road when I was almost knocked off today (Thursday, 29 November).”

Max Nentwich, 10, said his investigation had confirmed his feelings about the Tesco plans.

He said: “I am absolutely appalled at Tesco moving in on Mill Road. Are we expected to watch as the street’s diversity falls into ruin.

“I am proud of the local shops as you get to know the shopkeepers.”

However, some pupils were not swayed by the results of their investigation.

Joshua Watson, 10, said: “What about the elderly? Would they want to walk all the way to Sainsbury to get the food they want? Ignore all who say no to Tesco.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “This will be a small convenience store that will serve many people in the local area.

“It will be half the size of the existing Coop on Mill Road, and we have received many letters of support for it.”

Meanwhile, the issue has continued to split opinion across Cambridge and beyond.

Cambridge Evening News, 30/11/2007