Friday, August 21, 2009

Tesco in Machynlleth

I have been talking to many people in Machynlleth about the proposed new Tesco's store there, and will hold a meeting of Plaid members in the next few weeks. I have my own views on the matter, but before making them public, I would like to hear more from the good people of Montgomeryshire. Please feel free to comment either on this blog or to email me directly - heledd@gmail.com. I will take every viewpoint into account. Apart from two people, everyone I spoke to in Machynlleth were in favour. Even those running some of the shops.

I would like to state, however, how concerned I am that some people are trying to give the impression that there is split between people who've moved into the area and locals on this issue. That is extremely harmful to the community, and isn't even true. It's also ridiculous to state that a Tesco's store will be harmful to the language. Tesco's has a fantastic bi-lingual policy, and employs local people. Certainly, the store hasn't had a negative impact on the langugae in Caernarfon. The majority of check out women or men I've come across there have been Welsh speakers. The same isn't true for every supermarket so credit where credit's due to Tesco's.

Personally, when its practical, I always try and shop in small local businesses. I prefer choosing an exact cut of meat and knowing which farm its from, or selecting seasonal fruit or vegetable from a small shop where I can chat to the owners and so on. But I do also shop in supermarkets, especially when money has been tight or if I can't get to a local shop during the day. Whatever view I do take on the Machynlleth store- and I will take a decisive one - will be based on evidence and from what the people of Machynlleth tell me. I look forward to hearing further from you!

5 comments:

fifi said...

Hia Heledd

quote:I have my own views on the matter, but before making them public, I would like to hear more from the good people of Montgomeryshire.

sitting on then fence?? i feel you should commit to for/against tesco for anybody to take serious interest in blogging on your website.

Lebit Opik = against
Glyn Davies = for

Heledd Fychan = on the fence

Heledd Fychan said...

Fifi - thanks for your comment. I am waiting until the next branch meeting in Machynlleth. I need to discuss this with all the members before I can commit. I think that's fair.

I have spent time in Machynlleth talking to a wide range of people, and the majority view has been in favour but I have been sent a considerable amount of emails against as well. Feel free to send me your own views so I can take them into consideration. I'd love to hear them as obviously you must have strong feeling to post a comment. My email is heledd@gmail.com.

Laurence said...

I'm a frequent visitor to Machynlleth, a market town, which has few equals in terms of location, charm and history.

Its retail offering is not perfect - a good greengrocer would be an asset, but there can be few articles of normal household use which cannot be purchased there at reasonable cost. A superb bakery, one of the best butchers in mid-Wales, two quirky food shops, and people using the High Street as a centre of a friendly community. Also a weekly market which to an extent makes up for the lack of a greengrocer. The Co-op and Spar have all one needs in the toilet roll and wine department, so why on earth does the town "need" another supermarket.

Supermarkets generally result in 1.5 jobs lost for each created, and those created tend to be low paid which those lost tend to be more skilled.

Possible victims include the weekly market, the chemist (who will no doubt be persuaded to relocate) the bakery, and the whole food shop and deli. I suspect the butcher will survive, but Tesco will do him no good. The same is true of the Co-op and Spar.

Will this affect the character of the town?

I think it will. Once the "daily" shops have gone, all you will be left with will be tourist shops. This would be very sad.

Once you have broken a town, it takes many years to mend it, and in the process whole generations are blighted.

In time to come, we will see the unrestrained march of supermarkets as a national tragedy.

Annette Strauch aus Eichenberg said...

I am from Germany; I still live in Machynlleth. I am not happy here. The shopping facilities are very poor compared to what I am used to. It is better now with Harry Tuffins but would you always like to shop at your petrol station? I get many items from Aberystwyth - or when I travel and stay somewhere else. 'Rwy'n siarad Cymraeg.

Even though I do not like Tesco's really I must stress that there are no good alternatives here. There is a wholefoods shop (like those shops!) but the choice is limited in the one in Machynlleth.

Annette Strauch aus Eichenberg said...

I am from Germany; I still live in Machynlleth. I am not happy here. The shopping facilities are very poor compared to what I am used to. It is better now with Harry Tuffins but would you always like to shop at your petrol station? I get many items from Aberystwyth - or when I travel and stay somewhere else. 'Rwy'n siarad Cymraeg.

Even though I do not like Tesco's really I must stress that there are no good alternatives here. There is a wholefoods shop (like those shops!) but the choice is limited in the one in Machynlleth.