• Some of the first jobs available on Hereford’s new old cattle market site have been advertised by Waitrose, which is looking to employ some 150 staff.
One of the biggest selling points of the Edgar Street Grid touted by its developers has been the number of jobs that will be created, bringing wealth and good fortune to the downtrodden people of Hereford. So it is cheering to read on the Waitrose website that salaries for their ‘supermarket assistant’ positions are a wallet-busting £6.42 an hour (if you save up long enough you might even be able to shop in Waitrose one week). Duties will include taking food out of a box and putting it onto a shelf. Other jobs at the old market site involve taking items of clothing out of a box and hanging them on a rail in Debenhams and shovelling popcorn out of a large box and putting it in a smaller box at the Odeon.
The Friends of Leominster action group has campaigned against the proposed Sainsbury’s and other unknown store and have been celebrating what they have called a ‘David and Goliath’ battle.
Whether or not this is a ‘victory for the small man’ as claimed or just a ‘victory for the small businessman’ is open to debate. It is heartening to see a giant like Sainsbury’s defeated nonetheless.
• Fancy a council tax rise of at least 10%? Ex-Pontrilas councillor, Russell B Hamilton, does. Does he also support county-wide payrises to help us all pay for it?!
• Much political back-stabbing is going in Powys, where a new council leader has been elected this week (elected by fellow councillors that is, not members of the public).
Having been given the boot from the cabinet by then-leader Cllr David Jones, councillors Graham Brown and Myfanwy Alexander, behaving like petty school children, put forward a motion to get rid of him. Cllr Barry Thomas was subsequently elected as the new leader, immediately announcing plans to dismiss all current cabinet members so he can select his preferred bunch next week.
All of this is an irrelevance, however, as the council faces the very serious matter of deciding on £20m worth of cuts to essential services, including support for the elderly and disabled. It’s about time these councillors grew up.
Despite playing a vital part in helping members of the public and promoting all that a region has to offer, tourist information centres can seem like an insignificance when compared to services like care homes or meals on wheels. But what people often forget is that when centres like these close staff are made redundant, they will struggle to pay the bills and feed themselves and their families. There are always people that will suffer as a result and we must fight to save these services.