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?