Chairman’s New Year Report

Now that the festivities are well and truly over I feel it is time to reflect on our achievements and plan for the year ahead.

Tesco have always been able to open a shop as they have had a twenty year lease in place since December 2012. To change the pub to a shop is permitted development.

We have managed to delay them for a year and have successfully prevented them from opening a car park entrance in Furze Platt Road.

This will severely affect the throughput of the store and will make it a lot less profitable and more difficult to service. We are still working to convince Tesco that they should cut their losses and withdraw their plans to open a shop. However much of a long shot, it remains an option. A huge thank you to everyone involved for their enthusiastic support and hard work over the past year.

Little has changed as far as the Golden Harp site is concerned, apart from the fact that someone has removed all the FPAG posters from the blue hoarding. The Clubcard Wonderwall and SAY NO TO TESCO pub sign still remains in situ.

The Steering Committee reconvened on Tuesday night and various proposals were put forward to increase the momentum of the BOYCOTT campaign.

I have not had a reply from Sir Richard Broadbent or Philip Clarke to my letters and the 1500 strong boycott petition. Theresa May did acknowledge receipt of the petition and wrote “I think you have done the right thing in sending this to Tesco as I am already aware of the strength of feeling on this issue.”

Having corresponded with fellow campaigners in Reading West and Goring, who are fighting similar campaigns against Tesco, I am convinced that some sort of national day of protest should be high on our agenda.

Another important area is to ensure that the conditions outlined in the Appeal Decision are understood and enforced.

We are working in conjunction with the council to try and restrict parking around the site and ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians.

The FPAG will be conducting a survey of the local households to see what traffic calming measures the residents are happy to support. They are the people who will be most affected by the increased traffic should the shop open.

Once again I thank you for you ongoing support……….…SAVE the HARP!

Mark Newcombe
Chaiman FPAG