Protest held over Burnham Morrisons closure at council debate
fighting to prevent the closure of Burnham-On-Sea's Morrisons
supermarket waved banners during a protest at a Town Council meeting
last night (Monday).
and residents who are concerned about the store's proposed closure
held up posters saying 'save our store' and 'death knell for our
town' as councillors debated heard concerns about the impact on
last month that Morrisons had announced the proposed closure
of 11 stores across the UK as part of a cost-cutting move - with
Burnham's seafront seafront store among those earmarked to shut.
Brown, who has led the campaign against the proposed closure and
wants to hold a 'sit-in' protest' at the London holding company
being blamed for the closure, said: "We have a petition
of about 2,400 signatures asking for some form of action to get
the decision reversed."
will devastate the town and probably halve the footfall, so it
will impact the other traders too. 100 jobs are just the start
and cannot be replaced."
added: "The staff have been told that the store is uneconomic
because of the huge hike in rent demanded by the holding company.
Over 100 people are about to become redundant and they are at
least entitled to the truth and to know that someone has tried
to find out whether that holding company are totally out of touch
with the reality of the current retail market or whether they
are just plain greedy and don't give a damn."
called on the Town Council to spend some of Burnham's Tesco development
funding earmarked for the development of the town centre on helping
to try and save Morrisons from closure.
behalf of the staff and 2,400-odd shoppers we are asking for £5,000
from the Tesco 106 money to take a trip to London and follow up
with a car trip to Bradford to Morrisons - any excess to be returned."
realise it's the eleventh hour, but we are hoping there would
be some action and it hasn't come so now the people of Burnham
want the truth and action. What are the town council willing to
do right here and now while it's still possible to reverse the
Lyn Salvidge also spoke out during Monday's meeting: "I want
to know what pressure the Town Council has put on pressure on
Sedgemoor regarding the Morrisons closure. We cannot have an empty
site at that end of town - we cannot have one supermarket, Lidl,
in the town."
added: "We are a retirement town. There are lots of elderly
people and people with mobility issues and if you have to look
at taxi fares it's just not viable. The nearest Morrisons is in
Bridgwater - it's a £40 round-trip there."
no greengrocers in town, and no butchers in town, if we lose Morrisons
we will have then lost our last butcher in that final remaining
finished by congratulating the Morrisons staff who "despite
everything that's going on have been carrying on gamely... and
you wouldn't know the store is under a proposed closure."
added that rumours are circulating in the town that social housing
flats have been earmarked for the property with shops underneath.
Martin Cox spoke out: "On behalf of all councillors, I'd
like to say that we are all very, very concerned about this closure."
Cox added "We are rather shocked that Morrisons has become
the centre of our town and it all seems rather busy all year round
- I'm surprised that they find it uneconomic. They have 11 years
to run on their lease."
support the campaign that is going on and would like us to write
to the economic development team at Sedgemoor District Council
asking them to put forward our voice that Morrisons is a very
intricate part of the town and we would like them to reconsider
their decision and if they're unable to do that, that it is filled
as soon as possible."
Paul Young suggested that the Town Centre Manager should get in
touch with the lease holder and see if she can negotiate with
them to bring down the rent. The Town Centre Manager has already
held talks with several key stakeholders, including Sedgemoor
and the Chamber of Trade.
Mayor Michael Clarke said: "I am sure I speak for all members
around this table when I say we understand and appreciate the
concerns over Morrisons. The problem is that Morrisons is not
talking to the district council or ourselves. We are all concerned..
rest assured we will do whatever we can."
to Burnham-On-Sea.com outside the meeting, those who were in the
audience voiced their concerns. Sandra Shillicker said: "We
all fear that Burnham will become a ghost town without a supermarket
said: "We're at the 11th hour now. Time is running out if
we are to save the jobs and this essential part of Burnham's town
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