In our small town with a population of 11,000 people, only 4000 have declared their opposition to the proposed new Sainsbury's store in Todmorden. The majority have yet to voice an opinion.
Sainsburys appeal against the planning refusal will be held in July 2012. Here's your chance to redress the imbalance and say YES to Sainsbury's.
Does Todmorden need Sainsbury's? Yes, of course it does.
Why? Because it will bring choice to shoppers, 150 new jobs, competition and importantly, much needed new footfall into Todmorden. Also, it will keep local folk in our town, rather than the regular spending exodus to Halifax or Burnley. And not least, the store will give a much needed face lift to the wasteland on Halifax road
Will Sainsbury's kill Todmorden? Absolutely not. As a town, it will need to adjust and take advantage of having a regular stream of new visitors. Obviously and sadly, some businesses will suffer and indeed close, it would be naive to ignore the possibility. But businesses offering things that a supermarket cannot, have a golden opportunity.
If we shop responsibly, by using local shops and markets stalls where we can, only spending in the supermarkets for the items that local stores don't offer, or when they are closed, there is nothing to fear.
The out-of-town notion. The proposed store will be no more than a four minute walk from the "centre". Perhaps it will encourage our council to give free car parking adjacent to the market. If "town centre" shops have something attractive to offer, the buyers will come.
Todmorden must re-invent itself to halt its slow but steady decline and move forward. Sainsbury's will be the anchor store to attract new visitors into our town that will benefit consumers and small, forward thinking, local businesses should sieze the opportunity.
Many years ago Todmorden was a busy industrious, self contained town. But the days when the high street had a butcher, baker and candlestick maker are gone for good. Peoples shopping habits and work patterns have changed. Many commute and arrive back into town long after our local shops have closed.
Please vote in favour of the propossed Sainsbury's store to give shoppers a chioce and help keep Todmorden a town pepole want to visit.