Mayor thanks staff at Burnham's Morrisons store as it shuts
Mayor has thanked the staff at Morrisons supermarket as it shut
its doors for the final time yesterday (Sunday) with the loss
of scores of jobs.
emotional scenes at the store in Pier Street, a bagpiper played
in the store's aisles in the moments leading up to the closure
at 4pm, before Mayor Michael Clarke addressed the store's staff.
Mayor told staff: "Thank you very much for what you've done
for this town. I know there have been reports about the town council
didn't do enough. Rest assured that we and I have tried to do
all we can to avert today but it's a sad day and here we are.
doesn't detract that this will leave a huge hole at this end of
town and my heartfelt thanks really go out to all of you. Thank
you very much for the work you have done and the service you have
provided for this town and I wish you all the very best for the
store's very last customer, Susan Garrett, pictured below,
was clapped by staff as she left the supermarket. Susan
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I am very upset about the closure
- I have used this store for many years and it's a big loss to
manager Steve Concannon passed on his best wishes to the staff
in their future ventures, leading three cheers for his team, and
added that it had been "a very sad and emotional day."
staff member Ian Cook, right, added: "It's been a
very emotional day, with the piper in the aisles, and seeing so
many customers calling in for a final time. I worked here for
seven years and it's so sad to see it closing."
Eddie Young added: "'I'm very disappointed about this closure.
It's been such a handy store for residents in the town who live
nearby and I just don't understand why it's closed."
sentiments were echoed by another customer, Dylan Warren, who
added: "I can't understand why it's closed - the store always
seems busy. We will miss it greatly."
the staff have shown their positive spirit throughout, with many
wearing cheery Christmas clothes for the final day of trading,
there were emotional tears and hugs too, as pictured below.
of the final customers, Maureen Corbett, said: "I think it's
absolutely disgusting that the council has allowed the store to
close. It's a huge loss to our community from a social perspective
and more should have been done to encourage Morrisons to think
closure leaves a huge question mark hanging over the future of
the seafront site.
petition to try and protect the site as a supermarket, preventing
new flats or homes from being built in its place, has been signed
by over 1,000 people. The new petition can
be signed online here.
closure, which was first announced in September, leaves dozens
of staff at the store without jobs just a month before Christmas.
staff have been redeployed to other Morrisons stores in the area,
including the Bridgwater distribution depot, but many others have
been laid off.
Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesman said: "The Chamber regrets
the final closure of Morrisons and is ready to work with the landlord,
Morrisons as it retains a ten year lease on the site, the Town
Centre Manager and other interested parties to find a viable future
for the site as soon as possible. The Chamber urges its members
to publicise widely any job vacancies to ensure that those losing
their jobs know of the local employment opportunities."
Gaynor Brown and Lyn Salvidge have collected hundreds of signatures
for the new petition in recent days. Gaynor said: "The petition
is going well and there's lots of interest in protecting the store's
site from development. It's a sad weekend to see the store closing."
Morrisons spokesperson said: "We have looked extremely carefully
at whether our store in Burnham-On-Sea can be turned around but
unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable."
decision to close comes despite a local campaign to try and save
the store. A petition was signed by around 2,400 people calling
for the firm to reconsider the closure. A protest was also held
during a Town Council meeting where residents and staff waved
signs and called for action to save the store.
announced earlier this autumn that 11 stores across the UK had
been earmarked for closure as part of the cost-cutting moves.
The 11 are Burnham-On-Sea, Castletown in Sunderland, Clevedon,
Little Hulton, Northallerton, Oldbury, Salford, Shildon, Streatham,
Tyldesley and West Bromwich.