Bringing People Together
As I've said before, Thomas, it isn't about what I think.
As for telling people what I want them to think, I don't think that's borne out by the facts - I'm wracking my brains here to think of another person who has told me they want, or would welcome, a Tesco in Hampton but I honestly can't think of one. You are, to the best of my memory, unique in telling me you'd like one. In fact many people want Waitrose primarily because they think it would make Tesco lower their sights and look elsewhere.
I think it's rather strange for a local elected official to be making comments that might be construed by some as an attempt to stifle debate. Rather I think you should be encouraging your constituents to participate in the debate, whether their opinions on the standard of local convenience stores be deemed positive, neutral, negative, or a combination.
Is it not hypocritical and inappropriate for you to make negative comments about Tesco? You feel uncomfortable when remarks that could be construed as negative are made about local stores, but it's perfectly acceptable for you to take a pop at Tesco? Double standards. In relation to your remarks about Tesco Express I think it is presumptuous of you to state "I don't think any of us would want that". I would be happy if Tesco Express took over St John's.
I strongly agree with Thomas Gerrard's views.
Here, Here Petra,
I agree with you 100%.
Hampton Village is so lucky having three such great, highly effective and very active Councillors - Gareth, Janet and Suzette.
A fantastic Traders' Association chaired by Michael Badgery with the incredible support of Caroline.
All of them doing their upmost to support, promote and galvanise Hampton into a harmonious community.
Along with the very creative founder of this debate (Jayne Jackson), resident of Hampton and Hampton Hill's dynamic Town Centre Manager, may I just say what an amazing Village you've got and what a huge privilege it is trying to support you all. (I live up in Hampton Hill by the way and I'm not paid!)
Wow! What an amaging group of shops and businesses! Just look back over this site to witness the amazing lengths they've/you've put into putting Hampton 'on the map'! All in just nine months.
There are so many proactive,dynamic, imaginative, creative businesses, Asters spring to mind, plus . . . .
just next door, Janet and Claire, across the road Steve and Laura (and that's just a wee bit of the 'middle' of the 'east end'!).
I could go on and on . . . Kirsten's great refurbishment of 'The Dip', Jane's (Squiffy's) incredible free paellas at Hampton Fun Day = 500 + portions (all for charity) and the best tapas for miles around, Saran, Simon and Kate's award winning turnaround of The Bell, Denise's (Syzygy Hair Design) fantastic 'Hampton's Got Talent' contest, Tanya and Egor at Plenty (I quote one of you "the best pizza outside Italy"), Steve O'Neill's (Decorative Rooms) incredible vision and fulfillment of Hampton Fun Day . . . .
All in, 76 great businesses trying their upmost to help your Village thrive.
Let's try and support all of them.
I don't think you, Gareth, should pay too much attention to the criticisms that have been directed at you, there seems to be here, unfortunately, a deteriorating trend being set. How is something we should all regret the possible arrival of becoming so divisive?
I agree with your point about knocking the local stores, some may not like them, but these stores obviously do serve a purpose otherwise they would have disappeared long ago. Clearly at this moment an opportunity exists for some of them to grasp the initiative and prove they can raise their standards and service, whilst at the same time silencing their critics during this lull, if they don't, then it just might end up being too late for them.
What is needed is a greater number of good diverse shops, not an all consuming chain store.
Are the surveys you referred to those undertaken recently by Glanvilles? If they are, is it not too late to add new supporting submissions to their present application, surely these will only attempt to offer more justification to Waitroses manufactured scenario than their original presumptuous and lazy missives? Doesn't this mean they (Waitrose) will have to submit a new application so that we can examine, yet again, their fairy tales?
It is increasingly apparent that one result from this discussion, is that it is dividing the village, and we have only the villagers to blame.
When faced with change/opportunity/challenges, we should all rise together; YES, we may have differing opinions, but it is very sad to see the divisions appearing in such a lovely village.
No matter what our opinions, no matter what the outcome, we should most certainly stand full square behind our current shop owners who continue to serve the community, and add to the character of the village.
Personally, I am in favour of the plan, and think it will enhance the village, and given the proximity to the centre and the train, think it will give shoppers more of a reason to buy in Hampton, and attract new business to fill the current empty units.
What ever the outcome, we as villagers, have choice; the arrival of Waitrose does not mean we all abbandon our shops that we use regularly already; it is NOT a case of one or the other.
I will continue to buy bread at Cavan, meat from Shaun's, but now have the advantage of buying wet fish whilst not leaving Hampton.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TRADER; WITH OR WITHOUT WAITROSE