Friday, 18 November 2011

Please Object to Tesco Demolishing Our Historic Infirmary Building

Tesco want to demolish the historic Old Infirmary building on the Cattle Market site [within the town's conservation area] to build a giant superstore. They then wish to add insult to injury and mark it's footprint as an outline in their potential car park and put up a large glossy graphical celebration of it and it's history alongside the town's workhouse on their potential big shop window.

Similar applications for demolition of the Old Infirmary [latterly Russell Baldwin & Bright building] were refused by Malvern Hills District Council earlier this year, and in 2010. The reasons given by the Council for the refusal were published as follows:

a. “Demolition of the building would be harmful to the character and appearance of the Tenbury Wells Conservation Area.” and
b. “The building is considered to be too important because it frames views into the former Cattle Market site from both Teme Street and the bridge over the river.”
c. “There is no satisfactory redevelopment scheme for the site that could mitigate against the loss of this important building, contrary to Policies CTC19 and CTC20 of the Worcestershire County Structure Plan, Policy QL8 of the Malvern Hills District Local Plan and guidance contained within PPS5 ‘Planning for the Historic Environment’.”
Councillor David Hughes, Portfolio Holder of Planning at the Council was quoted at the time as saying:
“The Russell Baldwin & Bright building is an important building within the Tenbury Wells Conservation Area and its demolition would be harmful to the special character of the area.”
Don't let Tesco do this - please join the growing list of planning objections and stop the needless destruction of one of the town's heritage buildings.

What do I do next if I want to object?
It's quick and easy..

• Please download one of the objection letters below,
• Print then print the letter out
• Then please sign and address it and then either send off to the Malvern Hills Council address marked on them or just drop them into Tenbury's Spar, Bowketts Supermarket or The Little Sweet Shop. 
We'll do the rest!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Supermarkets - Fair to Our Farmers?

The Church of England's Ethical Advisory Group's 2007 report "Fairtrade begins at Home: Supermarkets and The Effect on British Farming Livelyhoods" makes for interesting reading..
"This report makes it quite clear that the business practices of the major food retailers have placed considerable stress on the farming community through the use of methods which we believe to be unfair and of which consumers seem to be unaware. Farmers seem to be unwilling to complain or to expose these practices for fear that their produce may be boycotted by the major retailers."
"The low inflation which the British population has enjoyed for a number of years appears to have been generated, at least in part, at the expense of the livelihood and well-being of the farming community. We are moving towards a situation where we will be unable to be self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs, such as milk, and have to rely on imports which are produced on a cost basis which is not viable in the country.

The landscape and life of Britain are intimately related to the use which we make of the land. Although this has constantly changed over the centuries, we may soon find ourselves living in an age when herds and flocks are no longer seen, and in which virtually the whole population is totally disconnected from any contact with the production of the food which it eats. The link with the land, which is a powerful theme in theology, scripture and folk-lore, may well be lost and with it an essential part of our national heritage and identity."

From Foreword by The Bishop of Exeter, The Rt. Reverend Michael Langrish

[Click on the report's cover to download the full .pdf file - freely available online]

Selected additional quotes
"... the review identifies a number of invisible and pernicious practices that the consumer is largely unaware of, and which have been accepted by farmers as a fait accompli as part of the price of doing business."

"... these practices include labelling that obscures the country of origin of the primary ingredients of some products labelled as British but often only processed or packaged here; flexible contract terms that seldom work to the advantage of the farmer; flexible payment terms that, subject to arbitrary change, have often put farmers to increased cost and financial loss; facilitation payments; deductions and a range of financial inducements paid to the retailer or processor at the farmer’s expense. There is little evidence that retailers share the benefits of promotions with farmers, and much evidence that farmers, in the main, bear the costs."

"... we conclude that farmers do not seek special treatment, but a genuinely free market that is not skewed towards a few retailers with enormous buying power. There is visible inequality and dysfunction within the supply chain, which in our view requires attention."

"... Farmers are asking for no more than a fair price for a fair product which requires a connection to be made by the British consumer that fair trade begins at home with British produce, reared and farmed by British producers."

Additional quotes from Executive Summary pages 4 & 5.