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Monday, 14 February 2011 (3012139)
Save our shops, say protestors
by Natasha Young

MORE than 400 residents protested in Ainsdale on Saturday (February 12), amid fears that supermarket giant Tesco hope to open a store in the village.

The demonstration, which took place at Ainsdale Methodist Church Hall and the nearby Village Green, saw local councillors Terry Jones and Brenda Porter, retailers and local organisations get behind what they hope will be a high profile campaign to stop a store opening at Station Road's Sherwood House site.

Campaigners believe the chain wants turn four small shops and one other site that is currently vacant into one of its Tesco Express branches.

Following the protest, local Conservative coucillor Brenda Porter said the fight was about “retaining our village, not only for us today but for the future, our children and our children's future”.

She also claimed: “Let us not forget Tesco are aiming to put five small retailers oput of business, and while the fifth shop was empty it had been taken but was cancelled as a ‘corporate customer' was now interested.

”We want to keep our small businesses and the fact we have few empty premises tells the true story.“

A public meeting to discuss the next step of the campiagn is being planned for March.

Meanwhile one Ainsdale resident, who wished to be named only as Yvonne, wrote to The Champion and said: ”Whey should Ainsdale not benefit from a popular shop such as Tesco? 2,500 people have said no, that leaves 10,000 that have either not been asked or chose not to sign. I wonder how many of the 2,500 never shop at Tesco.“

She added: ”We need shops to bring people in not have them all running to Birkdale or Formby.“

In last week's Champion, a Tesco spokesman said the supermarket chain had expressed an interest in the site as it was already being developed by the owner, and stressed that no agreements had been made as yet to open up any premises in Ainsdale.


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