Listen to Andy Barrett, writer and producer of our protest song Hey Tesco! being interviewed by Phil Kennedy on BBC Radio Berkshire…
Here it is at last – Hey Tesco!, the FPAG’s Protest Song!
Tell your friends!
Share the links on Facebook, Twitter etc!
Drive round the neighbourhood with a loud speaker and promote it!
You can also buy it direct from us for only 75p (mp3 audio file only, not video). All proceeds will go towards the campaign to Save the Golden Harp. Click the ‘Buy Now’ link below.
Alternatively, you can buy it via one of the below links (price may vary).
If you don’t like the way Tesco is conducting its business, please help us by publicising and buying the song.
A big thank you to Andy, Peter and James for making this happen.
See this building site? A pub used to be here
And all my friends and neighbours I used to see here
A pint and pie with pals – an evening of bliss
But supermarket business means we cannot have this
Hey! Tesco! We don’t need any more
Mindless bleeping at the checkout, clean up in aisle four
Hey Tesco! No-one needs to keep track
Of Clubcard loyalty points – we need a place to relax
Have you noticed that in pubs people smile?
In supermarkets they just scowl all the while
For cards or darts or pool the pub is the best
Not to mention music, sport and the rest
Hey! Tesco! You’re one helluva bore
And I want character and fun to be living next door
Hey! Tesco! I’m an old-fashioned man
I want an evening with mates,
Not late-night shopping for jam
Hey! Tesco! We all know what is best
We need to see our friends more and not ten items or less
Hey Tesco! We don’t need any more
We want a temple of peace and not a palace of chores
Hey! Tesco! We don’t need any more
Of your faceless grub for money coming up to my door
Hey! Tesco! You’re one helluva vulture
Picking every scrap of meat off our community’s culture
If you didn’t happen to be listening to BBC Radio Berkshire at 7am on Saturday 7th September, you will have missed Mark Newcombe (Chairman of the FPAG) being interviewed on Nicki Whiteman’s show…
But never fear, you can listen to it here:
FURZE PLATT ACTION GROUP (FPAG) – SAVE THE HARP – 26 AUGUST 2013
The Golden Harp, Furze Platt, Maidenhead, used to belong to Enterprise Inns, a debt-laden Pubco that runs down many of its pubs so that it can claim they are unviable and close them to sell as domestic properties (which requires planning consent for change of use), or as a supermarket which is permitted development under our archaic planning law. This has enabled supermarkets (especially Tesco) to open many a convenience store at the expense of an often much loved local pub.
The Golden Harp in Furze Platt, a Victorian Village conservation area about a mile from Maidenhead town centre, suffered this treatment recently. In December 2012, hoardings appeared round it, and shortly after this it was gutted. Tesco submitted to Maidenhead Development Control Panel six applications for what they termed ‘minor works’, including punching a large hole in the front of the pub to add shop doors, and an ATM on the side of the original 1889 stable block.
The Furze Platt Action Group (FPAG) formed to oppose Tesco’s plans, and these first six applications were refused by the planning authority at a packed Town Hall, in March 2013, mainly on the grounds that they did not improve or enhance the conservation area. A survey showed that 89% of local residents did not want a Tesco, but wanted to retain their community pub instead. A full Council Meeting on 23 April voted 48-1 to recommend to the Development Control Panel that an Article 4 direction be considered, which would require a full planning application for change of use. This was subsequently felt by the Panel to be too late (and potentially costly to taxpayers and individual councillors, who we believe were informed they might be personally liable if a compensation claim resulted).
Tesco appealed against the refusal of the first set of applications, and the date for this hearing is 17 October 2013. They also submitted another set of very similar proposals, which were all again refused. This time one of the councillors had commissioned a traffic report from Thames Valley Police, carried out at the morning rush hour, which showed the dangers the increased traffic would pose to children passing by to three local schools. Formally this could not be considered, as the applications were not related to a change of use which is already permitted. The FPAG have challenged Tesco to put in a full planning application if the development is as safe as they claim, so that the traffic report can be considered, and everyone can then abide by the decision. Tesco have consistently refused to meet FPAG, and only communicate via their corporate affairs manager, who was instructed by senior officials to say only ‘we will go ahead with this store’. Their Chief Executive and Chair refuse to answer correspondence, despite the involvement of Theresa May MP.
The Golden Harp was listed by the Council as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). However, Central Midland Estates (CME), the owners of the freehold, from whom Tesco have leased the Golden Harp, have appealed against the Council’s listing of the Golden Harp as an ACV. The hearing is expected within the next few weeks. It’s a good job FPAG are an energetic group, supported by the local CAMRA branch and others. There’s no sign of weakening under the pressure. The battles continue.