City Council recognises public concern for Tesco proposal

The minutes of the full City Council meeting of 6th December 2007 [agenda] have been published recently. They show that a motion (8e) put forward by Councillor Nimmo Smith on the subject of the Tesco applications was passed nem con, 19 votes in favour – 0 against.

The full text reads:

Resolved (by 19 votes to 0): That the Council recognises the level of public concern relating to Tesco plc’s proposal to open a large convenience store on Mill Road Broadway.

This occurs in a context where the Competition Commission has recently identified that Tesco commands a 51% share of the grocery retail business in Cambridge.

The Council notes evidence given to the House of Commons All Party Small Shops Group which documents the way in which the arrival of large new convenience stores can cause existing retail businesses to become non-viable.

By contrast it also notes that the arrival of convenience stores such as Tesco Express in Campkin Road and Chesterton High Street has had a beneficial effect.

The Council welcomes the Corporate Responsibility provisions of the Companies Act 2006 which requires publicly listed companies to report on a range of issues including social and community issues where they are necessary to understanding the company’s business.

However the Council regrets that in passing this Act the Government sided with some big business interest groups who lobbied against widening the application of the reporting requirements to a much larger number of companies and against legal standards on how they should report on these issues.

Despite this the Council calls on Tesco plc to recognise and respond to these issues of corporate responsibility when it has such a dominant market position in Cambridge by reconsidering its current plans.

The Council recognises that forthcoming decisions relating to associated planning applications will be made by councillors solely in accordance with national and local planning policies and in the light of material considerations.

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