Thursday, 14 October 2010

Better bread.. locally

Satterthwaites recently asked for customer feedback.

It may be coincidence, but the other day we picked up a loaf of their new round oatmeal/granary bread - and it is amazingly yummy. It is the kind of bread you accidently eat all of with butter (Lurpak on the adverts but actually supermarket own-brand (Sainsbury's) this month) before making any sandwiches for work.
Buy this bread, it is lovely.

Writing this posting seems sort of trivial, yet really I don't think it is. We all buy certain things from certain shops, and this year the satisfaction of shopping local has grown on my family. But we always used to end up with supermarket bread (never pies) from their 'bakery' because it tastes good - now Satterthwaites's tastes better.
It's all very well being high-minded about the value of local businesses but it is a lot easier when they sell great stuff!

Monday, 11 October 2010

What now?

Life in Crosby goes on, things have gone back to normal – and naturally people ask what now? – nothing?

Well no.... stopping Sainsbury’s proposal may have been the starting point but it quickly became apparent that it can only be the first part of the objective, and everyone has rightly said something needs to be done to improve Crosby Village. We hope this will be a new different proposal from Sainsbury’s, along with a load of other local community and local council driven initiatives, giving us a village centre that works for everybody.

The speed and pressure of the Planning process for Sainsbury’s made for an exciting and fast moving summer, with the highlights of the two Planning Committees making ‘half time’ (0-0) and ‘full time’ (1-0) for the Community vs Supermarket contest. But that match is over and the next phases will naturally be slower. It is harder to keep plugging away without the threat of imminent demolition, but a sound strategy for progress is steadily coming together.

Totally separately, tonight I took my son (6) to his class round the corner at Waterloo Judo. They have a great bunch of teachers and a great new building. I know very little about Judo, but can see watching the class what a great all-round discipline it is. Having only recently discovered this centre - I would recommend it to anyone with kids, especially those needing a bit of physical action in a really positive, disciplined environment.

Walking home with my exhilarated, exhausted little boy I thought what a brilliant place Crosby is to bring up a family.

Back home I have just looked up a definition of Judo on Wikipedia – see below - and an extract here... "The way of gentleness….. it is the principle of using one's opponent's strength against him and adapting well to changing circumstances.” As I said, totally separate, but I can think of at least one big business that could learn something here.

Meaning of Judo

Judo: "The way of gentleness".

The word "judo" shares the same root ideogram as "jujutsu": "jū" (柔?), which may mean "gentleness", "softness", "suppleness", and even "easy", depending on its context. Such attempts to translate jū are deceptive, however. The use of jū in each of these words is an explicit reference to the martial arts principle of the "soft method" (柔法 jūhō?). The soft method is characterized by the indirect application of force to defeat an opponent. More specifically, it is the principle of using one's opponent's strength against him and adapting well to changing circumstances. For example, if the attacker was to push against his opponent he would find his opponent stepping to the side and allowing his momentum (often with the aid of a foot to trip him up) to throw him forwards (the inverse being true for pulling). Kano saw jujutsu as a disconnected bag of tricks, and sought to unify it according to a principle, which he found in the notion of "maximum efficiency". Jujutsu techniques that relied solely on superior strength were discarded or adapted in favour of those that involved redirecting the opponent's force, off-balancing the opponent, or making use of superior leverage.

The second characters of judo and jujutsu differ. Where jujutsu (柔術 jūjutsu?) means the "art", "science", or "techniques" of softness, judo (柔道 jūdō?) means the "way" of softness. The use of "dō" (道?), meaning way, road or path (and is the same character as the Chinese word "tao"), has philosophical overtones. This is the same distinction as is made between Budō and Bujutsu. Use of this word is a deliberate departure from ancient martial arts, whose sole purpose was for killing. Kano saw judo as a means for governing and improving oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally. He even extended the physical principle of maximum efficiency into daily life, evolving it into "mutual prosperity". In this respect, judo is seen as a holistic approach to life extending well beyond the confines of the dojo.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

New website nearly ready..

Were are still recovering from the excitement of last week, but some very dilligent people have made a great start on a new website -  link here..

In time we will sort out all the glitches and hopefully provide a useful and easy to use source of information about all things good in Crosby.

Monday, 20 September 2010

We are houseproud

Here is a photo of a shop on St Johns Road. I bought some wood, grout and other bits last weekend. Friendly service, and as i had my baby with me the shop keeper carried my stuff to my car.

Maybe it was a bit less cheap than a bigger store, but I saved the time and petrol of driving to Aintree - where the competing store looks a bit like this....

 image from internet, where you realise all B&Qs, everywhere look like this.

Why pay more?.... well it's obvious isn't it?

Sainsbury's planning application was rejected last week, and we are working towards securing a new better proposal with Sainsbury's.  Yes we desperately need investment in Crosby, but not at any price, and the damage their proposals did to the rest of the village was not acceptable.

Long live Crosby

Friday, 10 September 2010

ABetterCrosby has the support of Liverpool Friends of the Earth

ABetterCrosby received the following statement and  thanks Liverpool Friends of the Earth for their support and for highlighting the following issues;
 "Liverpool Friends of the Earth hopes that the residents and community groups of Crosby are able to have a full say in the development of the village and its amenities - and not merely to respond to 'top-down' proposals. In particular, disproportionate power and profits should not be handed over to Sainsbury's or any other outside corporation.

"While supermarkets have a role to play in serving the needs and wishes of local communities, all too often they come in on their own terms to exploit 'market opportunity' by bringing in more traffic and shoppers from other areas and making life more stressful, not less, for local people. Time and again, unnecessarily large stores lead to net job losses as local shops go under. A major part of the problem is that big outside companies have more financial and legal clout than the local council, which cannot or dare not stand up to them in the name of its electors and taxpayers.

"Over-sized supermarkets are also huge contributors to climate change, not only through adding to car journeys but through the carbon footprint of the goods they bring in. They may employ some local people on the tills, but they are not geared up to sell local farm produce or give trade to local businesses.

"It is incumbent on Sefton and all local authorities - in conjunction with their business and community partners - to ensure all new developments help to reduce carbon emissions from those caused by current practice. This is to protect both present and future generations. We want to see this done in Crosby and throughout Merseyside."

Sainsbury’s Colne- a case study in supermarket "design "
This store is on the edge of town and smaller than the proposed Crosby store
The core 'Main Mission' store format, which is a typical Sainsbury's supermarket, is between 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) and 48,000 sq ft (4,500 m2). The average size of a Sainsbury's supermarket is 34,000 sq ft (3,200 m2), 

Unlikely source of information but some VERY interesting comments on the store here!

Sainsbury's opens new store in Colne

8th July 2010
SAINSBURY'S opened a new 46,000 sq ft store in the Lancashire town of Colne yesterday.
The supermarket chain has created 240 jobs at the shop which has been built on the site of the derelict former Coach House Antiques flanked by Windsor Street, Windy Bank and Norfolk Street.
Planning permission was granted in June 2008 the same year planners rejected proposals from Tesco for a different site.
Store manager Ian Collins said: "It is uplifting to know that this store has helped so many back into employment, morale is high and the team is ready to provide high service to all customers."
The store will sell clothes, homewares, and entertainment products as well as food. Critics have warned it will pull trade away from smaller retailers in the town.
From the Burnley Citizen 7/07/10
THE new Sainsbury’s supermarket has opened its doors in Colne today.Mayor of Pendle Coun Tony Beckett cut the ribbon at the 46,000 sq ft Norfolk Street store.
The store includes a 7,718 sq ft home department and a 8,256 sq ft clothing department.It boasts a cookshop and entertainment section, an under-store car park with 21 dedicated disabled spaces and 14 parent and child spaces, a café and a selection of self-scan tills along with main tills.
The supermarket also includes eco-friendly measures including a rainwater harvesting system to flush every one of its toilets.
Bosses at Sainsbury’s said they had worked hard to build strong links with the local community.
18 per cent of its 240 workforce were previously seeking Job Seekers Allowance and a further five per cent being out of work for more than six months.
The store’s manager, Ian Collins, has worked for Sainsbury’s for 20 years and is the former manager of the Lancaster branch.
He said: “We’ve been really looking forward to opening in Colne and welcoming residents to our new store.
“It is uplifting to know that this store has helped so many back into employment.
“Morale is high and the team is ready to provide high service to all customers.”
In the build-up to the official opening, the store had been working with schoolchildren in the borough, them about how it is working to reduce its carbon footprint.
Pupils from Blacko Primary School also took part in a poster competition and the winning design will be turned into a permanent sign in the recycling area of the car park.
Local charities can apply for a Sainsbury’s Local Heroes grant.
People in Colne can also get involved by selecting their favourite local charity to become the store’s new Local Charity Of The Year partner.
Once the charity is selected, the store will take part in fundraising activities over one year to support their chosen charity.
Opening hours are 7am to 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.
The Burnley Express 18/06/10

Colne Sainsbury's controversial 'Hollywood' sign to be taken down


published Date: 18 June 2010
SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's has been ordered to bring down its controversial signs from the roof of its new Colne store after angry residents compared them to the huge Hollywood Hill's landmark.
People living opposite the Windsor Street store told Pendle councillors the large orange lettering "completely destroys" the "iconic" view they used to have of Pendle Hill.

Oxford Street resident Maria Yewdall said: "If this sign is allowed to remain, it would consign our views of Pendle to history."

Elsie Holmes, of
Windsor Street, added: "Why does a building - the biggest in Colne - require two huge signs like something from Hollywood?"

Sainsbury's planning agent Nicole Thompson said the signs were needed to compete against rival stores such as Asda in Colne and Morrison's, Nelson.

She said: "Signs such as this are
a part of supermarkets whether we like them or not. The size of them is necessary so we can see them from far away and we rely on stores being visible."

Ms Thompson also denied the banner was two metres tall, claiming this was only the height from the roof line to the top of the structure, and offered to reduce the height of the fixings to lower the signs.

But Colne and District councillors were already unhappy supermarket bosses had given the go-ahead for the two-metre high sign to be erected on the east and west elevations of the building, before hearing the outcome of their planning application.

Coun. Tony Greaves said: "Although this is completely legal,
it is not the way for a new supermarket to make friends in Colne."

He added: "It is ludicrous to say people going past won't know there is a Sainsbury's there."

Councillors agreed to refuse permission for the two signs in line with the planning officer's recommendation and ordered talks between Sainsbury's, residents and planning officials over the remaining directional signs. 

Case officer Kathryn Hughes said in a report to the committee the signs would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area, creating
"inappropriate" and "unduly obtrusive" features.

Speaking after the meeting, she said it was not yet known whether Sainsbury's would appeal the decision. She added: "We don't know if there will be an appeal at this stage, but we will be having a meeting with Sainsbury's next week to discuss the other signs. 

"If the signs are not removed, we would have to consider enforcement action. But with the store opening in three weeks' time, I would expect to see Sainsbury's resubmit new plans and an appeal at the same time."

Lancashire Telegraph May 2009

Work on site of Colne Sainsbury's begins

·                                 By Kate Turner »Reporter

DEMOLITION work has started on the site where the new Sainsbury’s store will be built.
The former Coach House Antiques site in North Valley Road, Colne, was bulldozed earlier this week in preparation for work to begin constructing the new store.
The supermarket, which is set to create 320 new jobs, will begin to take shape in the coming months and it is expected that it will take a year to complete. Jo Try, regional development executive for Sainsbury’s said: “Demolition work on the existing site is progressing, and construction work is expected to start in the next few months. Construction is expected to take around a year, and the recruitment process will begin as the store nears completion.
“The new store will create up to 320 new full and part-time jobs. Sainsbury’s will work hard to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible go to the local community.”
It is estimated that 100 jobs created will be full time.
Planning permission for the venture was given the green light by council officials back in June 2008 after a store war broke out between Sainsbury and Tesco over the development of the site that is bounded by Windsor Street, Windy Bank and Norfolk Street.
The regular sized Sainsbury’s store, which is to take up 45,000 sq ft, has divided the community, with fears that it could decimate town centre trade and lead to further traffic on the already congested North Valley Road.
But bosses from the store believe that it will bring in trade worth an estimated £7 to £10 million.
Coun Howard Thomas, deputy chair of Pendle’s Colne and District Committee, said: “I think there was a little bit of concern when the recession started to bite that Sainsbury’s might hesitate, but they assured us that the plans would still go ahead.
"At least now we can see they are doing it.”

It's official - the majority oppose the current plans

With the proposal deferred at the last planning meeting, it was important to re group and look at what had been achieved and what was left to do. Obviously, there will always be more to do, but we can certainly be happy with some recent events.

Firstly, Liverpool FC vice captain and Blundellsands resident Jamie Carragher backed Jamie to speak at the planning meeting which goes to show it doesn't matter who you are, everyone will be affected by this monstrous build.

Secondly, Frank Cottrell Boyce has added his voice to the opposition of Sainsburys. It's good to have two stalwarts of their profession within our ranks!

On top of this, and further proof that we are speaking for the majority is the support we receive from both Labour and Conservative local councillors - as well as our local MP. The flip side of this is of course the Liberal Demorcrat councillors who have vocally supported the proposed development stating "they are supporting the silent majority".

Though we always knew this statement was rubbish we were glad to see that the display and comment book in the Library (set up by the council itself) returned a verdict of 5 residents to 1 AGAINST the proposed development. But remember, this is against the current proposal, not Sainsbury's itself. This result surely means that the Lib Dems, who has stated they wish to support the 'majority' of resident, have now changed their opinion and have joined with Labour, Conservative and pretty much the whole community to oppose this proposal!

Further meetings have taken place between residents and Sainsbury's senior management, and to be honest it appears Mr Sainsburys DOESN'T actually care what the community thinks and said pretty much this in face to face meetings.

It has also been acknowledged that the proposed community centre (proposed for the roundabout of Moor Lane, Richmond Road and the Bypass) is actually just to conceal the ugly elevation that will be seen from the Moor Lane side - it just so happens they needed  a use for the building so thought they'd call it a community centre (only for the first 10 years though - who knows what it will be after that!) - further evidence that being a valued member of the community isn't really high on their priorities.

So well done everyone, and for those still undecided, please remember, we're not against a new Sainsbury's being built - we're just against this particular proposal.

Finally, the planning meeting to decide the fate of this proposal will now take place at 6.30 pm this Wednesday (15th Septemeber 2010) at Crosby Civic Hall - please come along and stand up and be counted!!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

So whats it all about??

Welcome to our Blog, if you've not looked before.

So what is going on??

Simply we want Crosby Village to be a lot better than it is.
We are local people who have been stirred into action when we saw how damaging Sainsbury's proposals for their new supermarket would be -to see some images click here  - This proposal is due to go to Planning Committee on 18th August for approval (!) by our councillors.

Over the last few months over 5000 local people have signed our petition,  we also have a online version of - click here which will tell you what it is specifically campaigning for.

We have been discussing the issue with Councillors and our MP and we are buidling support for something better.  Sainsbury's have said 'there is no alternative solution' and are trying to force their plans through - so we have proposed our own suggestion of an alternative, which still gives us a nice new big supermarket but wthout destroying the historic buildings or creating ugly new carparks everywhere - see (and download) our ideas CLICK HERE 

We need all the help we can get before the 18th August and today should be fun with the LAST STAND FESTIVAL - please come to show your support for a better future for Crosby Village. A celebrity might be helping us at around 4.30pm.

Apart from all this stuff, this Blog is about Crosby more widely and if you look through old posts you might find a few things of interest - like where to get the best fish, or coffee in Crosby.

To the right hand side of this page you will also find links to other various stories and links about Sainsbury's and our campaign for them to do something better for Crosby.

If you would like to get involved please email us at

Thank you for your interest.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Wouldn't it be good....

... if, because the local community (ie all of us) has had to stand up and fight for Crosby Village, that in the future the Village was just better, more used, and more loved.

We insist that it has to become better, beacuse it really is sink or swim time for Crosby. 

Sainsbury's current plans will destroy Crosby as a 'village' forever.  We want Sainsbury's to invest in Crosby, but in a way that helps all of us.

Nearly everyone agrees with us, but some people say we don't have a chance against such a big business.  
Now thousands of people have signed our petiton, leaders of the community are coming out to support the Village and the risks to Crosby are in the papers, and we've only just started. 

We really want the Council and Sainsbury's to work with us, the 'Community', the ones who pay the taxes and buy the food. But just in case, in the background we are praparing legal/planning submissions with expert advice.

Man from Sainsburys, if you're reading this - and we think you are, please work with, and not against, a community that has supported your supermarket for many years. 
You may have all the money and the land, but we've got the love and are having more fun.

See you at the LAST STAND FESTIVAL...31st July, Crosby Village.

Thursday, 1 July 2010



If you are visiting this Blog site for the first time, having spotted us in today’s Crosby Herald – welcome.
Apart from the lastest Blog entries – if you search through the older postings in the Blog archive you may find items of interest.

Our campaign for ABetterCrosby, and against Sainsburys current proposals is described in the separate feature boxes.

Please add comments & your thoughts to any stories you like.

Regarding todays Herald front page, it is great that the 3d image of the new store showing the true size of it, has made the front page.
It is less great that the Herald decided to run the front page with the spin of Sainsbury’s , and we fear Sefton Council’s, view of the world.

We have a copy of the ‘experts’ report. WYG who wrote it are Sefton’s ‘retained retail consultants’, who advise them on all such matters.  They are a massive international property/construction consultancy, who also happen to work directly for Sainsbury’s in other parts of the country.  As a consultancy they also design supermarkets and highways/carparks for supermarkets.  We all understand how difficult it is to have two different paymasters at work, and WYG are a part of the supermarket industry.

It is a bit like asking an arms-dealer how to resolve a war....

Regarding the report itself the opening paragraph describes the site of the new Sainsbury’s as a ‘Brownfield Site’.  Maybe they have not been to Crosby for a while, most of their reports focus on Southport and Bootle, but the Glenns Buildings, Moor Lane Villas, or the historic centre of Crosby, are NOT in our opinion a Brown field site.
The report goes on to make numerous specific retail points which we dispute.

We would refer you to this report by a well established economic research group, which has led to the passing of the Sustainable Communities Act by Government.  We believe this Act of Government can be used to help save Crosby.

We do not want a Ghost Town, we want a sustainable , local, community, and with it A Better Crosby.

We also have a copy of the Places Matter report referred to – we will send you a copy if you like -, again, reading it we do not believe it offers ‘broad support’ for the scheme.

Please email us at if you would like to help us.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sainsbury's Campaign News Update

Important News - the Planning Committee - who will decide Crosby's fate, are walking round the village tomorrow (Monday 21st June) at 10.30am - if you are around go and find them (a group of about a dozen serious middle-aged looking people I imagine) and tell them what you think of the proposals.

We launched the paper petitions, which will also go to the Planning Committee, on Wednesday.
To date (ie 4 days later) we have distributed over 20 packs of petition information and guess how many signatures we know have got in 4 days ...

400+....  , and we only know how a few of the 20 + have got on, and we still have 27 more days left before we need to submit it to the council..
We will look on the Tescopoly website to see if we can find the record for the biggest anti-supermarket petition. This news carries a big health warning - just because the community are starting to realise what Sainsbury's are planning, and we don't like it, doesn't mean Sainsbury's will pay any attention to us. It will be a big fight to save Crosby...

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Best fish update

In total juxtaposition to the threats facing Crosby, the fish man in the Co-op /Summerfield car park off South Road keeps me vaguely cheerful.

Described in the first entry of this blog, I have now discovered his name is Alex The Fishman.  I think Fishman is his actual surname, it's on his business card.  He drives down from Fleetwood on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and sells truly fresh fish to anyone who wants it.  Forget all those stupid adverts of celebrities pushing shopping trollies through fields or into harbours, this is the real thing.

Here he is.. I had his phone number, to suggest if there was anything you really wanted you could probably phone him, he would try and get it at the fish market in the morning and then drive it down for you. I've lost the number, and but perhaps he would like to be able to put a face to you before you started making orders, and he has loads of good stuff anyway, which he fillets there and then.
This is food shopping as a real service, and a pleasure to frequent.

Find him 9am til 12 Wed & Sat in the Co-operative car park. The Co-op living up to its name with its hospitality.

The comparison with most of our food shopping doesn't need to be made......

Thursday, 17 June 2010


.. maybe because our paper petitions have just gone out in Crosby, the online petition has suddenly leapt forward ..

if you sign the online one please add a comment too..

and also please look out for paper version in the village and door to door..

PS .. have just put 3 other Posts on the blog - review April, May, June for other information and stories..

Petition is go

Apart from our online petition which is ticking along nicely, we have got our act together and prepared petition forms and distributed the first dozen or so around Crosby. Without intention we have got a real spread of everyone - shops - bars - cafes - senior citizens, families and students.

Each pack only aims to get 100 signatures - but 20 packs will get .. (do the sum..).. as they say 'every little helps'

Looking on the Tescoploy website, , some of the successful campaigns get a couple of thousand signatures.  Having been speaking to people for a while about Sainsbury's, and hearing near universal agreement that it ain't that great, we're sure we can get those kind of numbers ...  hope we're right!

If you would like to help by collecting signatures just email and include your address and we will send you a pack of forms, our letters explaining the problems with Sainsbury's and some pictures.

Good luck collecting names.....


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Makes you think....makes you hungry....

.. I was going to write a simplistic little piece on how Satterthwaites Pies are so nice, but then found their amazing website.  ...
Reading this, and in particular the last paragraphs, just about puts a lump in your throat.   
It had not really struck me before, but with something such as a Satterthwaites Pie, which i always seem to buy mid-morning on a Saturday when a bit bleary and occasionally hung-over, much of the pleasure is not just in a very tasty pie but the whole experience - the 'lifestyle' choice of pie or cake eating if you like.  Buying it from friendly staff in a small shop - queuing up with neighbours and everybody getting served in person is a good experience in itself. Quite unlike a miserable self-service supermarket which is now trying to get people to use automated tills, preventing the customer from having any human contact what-so-ever. Supermarkets working towards 'efficiency' less staff, less personal service, less jobs. 

The website explains why the pies taste so nice - fresh and local and no machines - real sustainability.

... the health 'warning' is another reminder of how to live a happy life - eat a few pies and then get on with some heavy labour - dig a trench or something - or a bit (a lot, if like me you sometimes have two pies) of gardening - to burn it off.  Certainly beats driving down the motorway to work on a computer, sat down all day with another sandwich in a box for lunch.  I might start a gardening business - just to eat more pies.
It is Satterthwaites Centenary year.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

OOPS -Our facebook has blown up..

Being a bit social networking naive - Abettercrosby Stopping Sainsbury's - was set up as a person / friend - we have now been blocked by Facebook either because we were inviting too many people to join or because we did not have a name - (unless you are a corporate conspiracy theorist. - Anyway we will rebuild as a group and go from there...  we had got up to 350 members - but we have everyones name on our email account so will regroup..

Search Facebook for the same Abettercrosby as we will go from there.. 

Our Letter to Crosby Herald and all Councillors

The future of Crosby Village

Dramatic as it sounds, the nature of Crosby Village for the next 25 years and beyond is going to be decided this summer, probably in the next 5 weeks.

With vision it could be regenerated as an attractive bustling centre in the day, with thriving restaurants and bars in a much safer environment at night. But right now it is more likely that about half of the recognisable village will be destroyed and replaced with multistory car parks and a huge supermarket, providing the final nail in the coffin for the few local businesses that remain.

Sainsbury’s is the most important shop in the village but it’s proposal to build a new store more than 3 times bigger than the existing one will damage the village beyond repair.

Sainsbury’s want a store so big that they can only fit it in by destroying most of Moor Lane and building right across this historic route, which is the birth place of Crosby at its junction with Liverpool Road.  They want to bring so many more cars to Crosby Village that most of the remaining space in it becomes 2 or 4 storey carparks and they even lift their new supermarket off the ground, up to first floor, to get more cars under it. People in the village will have to use moving ramps to get in to it.  The large and very high white box building Sainsbury’s propose belongs on a retail park, not in an historic village centre.  Indeed Sainsbury’s want it to be 20% bigger than the ASDA in Bootle and they want a third of their new shop to sell clothes, books, stationary, homewares and electricals all directly completing with existing and potential smaller local businesses.

In their publicity Sainsbury’s say they will create 11 other new shops in the village.  They do not so clearly mention that they are knocking down 12 (?? TBC) of the existing shops on Moor Lane.  Although Sainsbury’s say they will ensure that the village keeps its Post Office and specialist chemist, even now just 5 weeks before the Council is due to review the plans, there is nowhere for any of the businesses on Moor Lane to relocate into whilst the new Sainsbury’s is built.  This would leave these local traders with no business premises for at least 18 months, by which time they may well have gone bust.  The businesses affected are Satterthwaites, Blues Bar, Lloyds Chemist, ... TBC...

We wonder if Satterthwaites lost their oldest shop, in the heart of Crosby, for this length of time that their entire business might be at risk of going bust in the current recession.  Imagine that.

The combination of halving the number of shops in the village whilst disrupting the rest of them with the construction of the new supermarket for more than a year, and then a big ‘retail park’ Sainsbury’s increasing its direct competition with many local retailers really could kill off the idea of the village as the local centre. Some people have joked it will be Sainsburyville.

Yet for all this Sainsbury’s is a good grocer and essential to Crosby’s future.  We have a positive vision where a new bigger, better Sainsbury’s store contributes to the true regeneration of the whole village with an attractive new building which could be more than twice as big as the existing store, but not three and a half times bigger as they are currently proposing.  This might sound like little difference but Sainsbury’s have a very aggressive national expansion programme, and they seem to have hardly any interest in their actual impact in real local communities, and they say they will not now reconsider their proposals.  Their business target is to catch up with Tescos.

Sefton Council has no plans of their own for Crosby and appear to have let Sainsbury’s have free run whilst developing their inappropriate proposals. The traders in Crosby are very worried but are working to maintain their businesses in the short term and are trapped, not wanting to upset their landlord – Sainsbury’s.

So that leaves us…and you. 
There is a recession, but there is also a future, especially for the young people of Crosby.  What do we want Crosby to be like in 25 years time?, and right now, for the next 5 weeks what are we going to do about it?

We have formed a campaign group, ABetterCrosby, (search online - all one word). We understand the Planning Process and how to work with it to get Sainsbury’s current plans rejected at the Planning Committee on 21st July.  We have a strategy of action up to this vital Planning meeting.  We are able to draw on the advice of the experts who designed and built Liverpool ONE.  In the week since our Facebook group started we have gained over 300 supporters, and over 1000 people have already joined a separate group to ‘Save Crosby’.
Behind their adverts Sainsbury’s are a big commercial corporation and they won’t change their plans readily, we need all the help we can get.
Will you help us?



Monday, 7 June 2010

Do supermarkets look better down South?

Following on from a Facebook conversation, thanks to Maureen, this is Waitrose in Sevenoaks...

.. yes you've got it, hiding behind the hanging basket.
Nice and dicrete and apparently it's a big shop with a multistorey carpark in behind there somewhere.

This is the beginning of an exercise trying to see if there is a trend that supermarkets down South are nicer to look at than those in the North.  Now why might that be??

Conversely I have heard the new Sainsbury's in Colne, up past Blackburn is a real howler, a white box above a car park......
Anybody got any more interesting sightings?

Monday, 31 May 2010

ALERT - Moldy Peaches at Moose Coffee

Another sunny Sunday in Crosby looking for a bit of pleasure.

Ended up in Moose Coffee, as we seem to every once in a while, and it was top. 

Crosby is never going to win a 'Cosmopolitan suburb of the year' award and can sometimes feel a bit samey, but if you're eating delicious waffles, coffee in hand and reading about second-homophobia in the papers (poor Mr Laws) what more could you need for a reviving afternoon?

They didn't have any actual moldy peaches, in fact I'm not sure if they had any fruit at all - Moose Coffee is not the place for dieting and you need to be in good shape to knock down platefuls of lovely bagels, eggs, pastrami, cheese, ice cream, chocolate spread, maple syrup and more eggs. But hey... you could always borrow some wheels from Crosby Cycles and bike it home.  I imagine frequent visitors must all weigh 20 stone - but perhaps that is part of the genuine American feel. I think we would be more regular (visiting Moose) if they had some salad, on which note the toilets are clean and spacious, and the staff attentive and friendly, even to pesky 3 year old kids.  

I would honestly recommend anything from the menu, but the pastrami bagel is great - blueberry pancakes and vanilla milkshake to follow perhaps?

Regarding mold I think they actually have 5 stars for cleanliness in that rather weird Sefton Council hygiene award scheme.  The Moldy Peaches actually provided some suitably groovy American/New York background music helping the vibe, and if I knew lots about computers I would make their songs play here - 
If this works you might like the first song, but 'Who's Got the Crack?' could be a gentle anthem to hum as you mill around Crosby looking for other cheap thrills....

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sainsburys can afford better

We heard someone say that Sainsbury's could not afford to do anything better than the pile of white tosh they are proposing for Crosby Village, because of the recession and all that. You know.... the property market has collapsed and nobody has any money, etc etc, wouldn't you be pleased if anybody made any investment in your community now??

Well we all need to eat, which is what makes supermarkets such a win, win, win deal for their owners. Things have to be really bad before the rest of us stop buying food.

Sainsbury's recent full year financial results 2010, , report a 17.5% increase in profits to £610 million, on £19.96 billion sales.....hmmmm. Considering most of us are pleased to still have a job or be breaking even, it seems like the supermarkets are laughing all the way to the bank as others, like local businesses, fall by the wayside.

Sefton Council had budgeted gross revenue expenditure of £546m for 2008/9, and from the governmental news we imagine this might be the high water mark for sometime. So yes, Sefton's entire annual budget for all our local public services is less that Sainsbury's annual profits. With these kind of figures big corporations surely must pay more than lip service to their social responsibilities. 

Going back to Sainsbos big profit numbers - reading their exciting annual report 2009 states they have 16,191,000 square feet of sales area in the country. Their proposed new Crosby store at 50,000 square feet (20% bigger that the nice new ASDA in Bootle which is 41,100 sq ft) will only be 0.3% of that national total - but 0.3% of £19.9 billion sales is still a whole truck load of money (£61m sales per year with nearly £2 million profit per year). With these figures, and the amount of money we have put through their tills in Crosby for years, you would really think they would pay the local community a little more respect with the quality of their proposals. After all as they claim in their annual report.....

.......  their own goals 3,4 & 5 are surely relevant to development projects and in terms of their current idea of 'making a positive difference to our community' .. frankly it's corporate BULLS**T.

Sainsbury's people - PLEASE TRY HARDER, your not 'Making Sainsbury's great again'

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Getting even more tenous now, but its only 3 stops on the train. This is an amazingly great bistro .. go.

the sea, the sky

Stating the bleeding obvious this, but there cannot be that many places where you get sunsets like this, over a coast which is so close to most of us.

Maybe it's just volcanic ash or pollution from Runcorn, but every cloud......

Formby Pool

Bear with us, this is not Crosby, but sometimes we have to stretch our wings, and one of the best things about Crosby is it's closeness to Formby, without being so dull perhaps. Bit of a dilemma really, Crosby should be wonderful, considering the coast, the train, the schools, the parks, the houses, the closeness to the city but it's not quite, why?

Anyways Formby has lots of lovely things, and apart from the Pine Woods their swimming pool must be one of the loveliest it the country. Swimming there, with their clever changing rooms and views to the park outside, feels like a little Scandinavian oasis.

Better still swimming for kids and the over 60's is free after 2pm at the weekends (or at least it was last time we went). 

Compare and contrast to the rather strange spaceship/shuttlecock, round outside, pool shaped inside disappointment that is Crosby Pool - with its ridiculous crap cafe - didn't anyone notice it was next to a BEACH when they built it, and that it could have been NICE.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Welcome to A Better Crosby

So this is about where we live.

Crosby, Merseyside, England and what kind of place it is, and what it could be.

Day One of starting this site and already lots of people have signed our petiton.

Hopefully this is just the beginning..

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Saturday Mornings - Best Fish!!

So its Saturday. 
The best fish in Crosby is available this morning, and Wednesdays from the man with the white van in the Co-op car park on Brighton Road, just off South Road. Don't know what he is called but he comes down from Fleetwood with lovely fish straight out of the sea at good prices.  If Jamie Oliver ever came round he'd be going all cor-blimey-govn'r...