Monday, 23 May 2011

Tesco meets street art

A judicial review of the decision to open a new Tesco Express in part of Bristol, which caused rioting in April, is to to be held in June.

Meanwhile, campaigners have called for further clarification on the classification of supermarkets for planning purposes, and the government has decided that the situation is so serious that it's asked TV's retail 'guru' Mary Portas to revive the British high street (only seven months after HM's loyal opposition said it would be looking at policy on the issue – itself only a year after I overheard the now leader of HM's loyal opposition being told about the impact of supermarkets on small businesses).

For a start, Ms Portas will hopefully tell government to stop the situation where supermarkets can build massive carparks, for which they charge nothing, while many town centres have been pedestrianised (not of itself a bad thing), with parking difficult and/or costly, meaning that drivers are effectively punished for shopping in town centres, but not at vast out-of-town supermarkets.

It would also be nice to see some sort of controls on landlords who simply decide that, because Clone Town can bring more money, they drive up rents to deliberately drive out independent businesses and replace them with franchises. Scales of economy (in this case, the capacity of big chains to pay much more than small businesses for rent) should not be the used at the expense of choice and variety.

I felt that it was worth updating readers of this blog, since they may remember my comments about the story here – but also because it offered a sublime opportunity to post Bristolian Banksy's artistic comment on the riots.

Let's face it – every little helps, eh?

And in the meantime, there are a few interesting thoughts here.

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