Wherever Tesco goes there seems to be controversy, with numerous high-profile campaigns against its seemingly never-ending expansion. From Tenbury Wells to Stokes Croft in Bristol, local organisations have been lining up against the company, and Ledbury looks set to be the next battleground.
Tesco are planning to move their store in the town from its current site on Orchard Lane, to the site of Ledbury Welding on Leadon Way. Locals have raised concerns about the negative effect this may have on trade in the town.Rumour has it that the two-day consultation offered was merely used to pay lip service, with the company already committed to the plans.
An action group has already been formed, with a founding meeting held. Ledbury Opposes Tesco Superstore (LOTS) held its first meeting on Friday 3rd June, with around one hundred and fifty locals in attendance. They have said they are ready to fight a lengthy battle, with leafleting already underway and a Facebook page set up.
Many people oppose Tesco for many different reasons; the power this huge corporation yields, its negative effect on small and local businesses, its ability to steamroller plans over any and all opposition, its environmental impact, the sale of unethical products and so on. But one thing that almost all hold in common is the contempt shown to them by Tesco.
In August last year the news broke that Tesco were to turn the Game Cock pub in Hinton, Hereford into yet another convenience store. Over a hundred local residents turned out to a meeting against the plans; a petition was taken and there was a call to boycott Tesco in the city. Unfortunately the campaign against the store was not sustained and petered away.
We await further information on the Ledbury plans, but in the meantime we encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the campaign against it. The only way us small people can take on such a large company is through standing together and organising from the grassroots. By using a diverse range of tactics (from petitions to boycotts to pickets and more) we can also pack a powerful punch, and that is how such a campaign can be successful.