Archive for February 2010

Tesco LOSE their licensing application appeal

NEWS JUST IN: Tesco have LOST their attempt to sell booze on Mill Road – an area which is now a Cumulative Impact Zone (which creates an assumption against the granting of new licenses).

More details and commentary on this will follow in due course.

Tesco silently change their alcohol policy just before Mill Road licensing hearing begins

A member of the public has pointed out on his blog that Tesco have removed a key part of their alcohol policy, just before the Mill Road licensing hearing began.

The text that has been removed is:

“A flexible approach to licensing: We do not apply for licences in areas with known disorder issues and we review existing licences where evidence emerges that late-night alcohol sales are contributing to problem drinking.”

Below is the evidence of this sneaky change. Click on each screenshot below to see the full version and read the changed text.

Before: Tesco’s current Corporate Page promoting its “responsible” attitude to the sale of alcohol:

[Note that the yellow highlighting is merely present because Google’s cache highlights the search term used when finding the page.]

After: The same page before it was quoted as evidence against Tesco in their recent court action to be allowed to sell alcohol in one of its Cambridge stores in an area “with known disorder issues”:

Licensing appeal in progress

The licensing appeal is in progress.

Tesco have proposed various conditions as a way of trying to get a licence – including not advertising alcohol on their windows. (This is somewhat ironic given that Tesco were caught only last month advertising wine in their Mill Road window, which attracted the interest of the regulatory authorities …)

We will update on the outcome of the appeal when we have it.

Tesco licensing appeal date set

We have now heard that the date of the licensing appeal is 23rd – 25th February, to be held at Cambridge Magistrates Court.

We understand there are 18 witnesses in total.

CEN article: Anger as ‘dry’ Tesco puts up adverts for half-price wine

We cannot help point out that if the manager, Mr Capone, and his staff cannot get a simple thing like this right, what hope is there for the more sensitive task of ensuring that alcohol is only sold in a legal manner, a matter which is subject to examination in the Magistrates’ Court shortly…

Posters in the window

TESCO has been ordered to remove adverts for cheap wine from its shop in Cambridge’s Mill Road – because it has no alcohol licence.

Trading Standards officers launched an investigation after the adverts were displayed at the controversial Express store.

Campaigners accused Tesco chiefs of “contempt for the community” for plugging half-price Dino Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio wines, in an area where new alcohol licences are routinely opposed.

Trading Standards officers visited the store and spoke to manager Luke Capone, who agreed to take down the posters – which advertised deals available in other Tesco branches.

The Mill Road shop, which opened last August, was refused an alcohol licence after police objected because it falls within a ‘cumulative impact zone’ – which creates a presumption against giving out new licences.

Beverley Carpenter, co-ordinator of the No Mill Road Tesco campaign, said: “We are dismayed that Tesco has once again demonstrated complete insensitivity and lack of respect for the local community in posting advertisements for cheap alcohol in Mill Road.

“Their half-price offer on bottles of wine as seen in the window of their Express store on Mill Road is not only within a ‘cumulative impact zone’ but in a store that has been expressly refused permission to sell alcohol amid a huge public outcry and unprecedented publicity for any alcohol licence application in Cambridge.”

Supermarket bosses are appealing against the Cambridge City Council decision.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Trading Standards said: “I can confirm that we have received an inquiry from a member of the public, and we investigated the advertising used by Tesco in their Mill Road store.

“One of our officers visited the store and spoke to the manager who took down the adverts.”

Tesco’s appeal against the licence decision will be heard at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court later this month.

Cambridge Evening News, 1st February 2010