Last Saturday a brand new Poundland opened up on Allerton Road, the main shopping area in my Church Ward. Some people were very sniffy about a Poundland opening. I suggest that they go and have a look at this bright inviting store and its well trained staff.
They were a pleasure to deal with. I met the regional manager and the new branch manager, Claire Dagnall. The first discussion I had with them was about when and how to unload their stuff at a time to cause minimal disruption to traffic and the local community. We then went on to look at how they can participate in our local events starting with our Christmas celebrations on November 30th. They want details of schools and other local groups so that they can work with them to help the area. Of course by creating such contacts there will be benefits for them as well. But the benefits will be mutual.
I look forward to working with Poundland and have no doubt that their presence will add to the total footfall on Allerton Road to the benefit of all traders and the community.
Contrast that with the behaviour of the loathsome Tesco. I have never met them unless I have insisted on a meeting and I have had to insist on many meetings as they fail to exhibit 1% of the neighbourliness and duty to the community that Poundland appear to be delivering. In fact I have just sent one of their senior staff a missive which I reproduce below. The fact is that that profit appears to come before community with Tesco even when their actions put lives at risk.
Read what I have said below and decide for yourself. When I spend my money (and I don’t go into chain stores very much) my orange pound will be spent in Poundland wherever possible.
LETTER TO TESCO PLC
XXXXX XXXXX Esq.,
Corporate & Legal Affairs,
New Tesco House,
Herts EN8 9SL
Dear Mr XXXXXXXXX
Re: Your Three Express Stores in South Liverpool
I refer to your letter of 24th September which I consider to be one of the most arrogant I have ever received in 30+ years as a councillor.
Basically what you are telling me is that Tesco is not concerned about the convenience and safety of local residents and pedestrians. You have your own schedules for delivery and will keep to them irrespective of any other issue.
Let me give you some idea of the problems that your company is causing because you failed to adequately think through unloading issues when you purchased your stores.
Regarding Allerton Road we have received the e-mail below from a constituent earlier this week:
Sent: 22 October 2013 16:07
To: Kemp, Erica
Subject: Re: Tesco garden
Hi Erica. Thanks. Had a heated discussion with the new manager today as they had completely blocked Plattsville Road with the truck. It’s just not acceptable to block the road for emergency vehicles. There was also apparently a large ruckus with another large truck reversing the length of Auckland road. I had a builder attending and he has to drive the wrong way down Auckland to get in.
As I said the new manager Xxxx has no background in this long running issue and was wondering how Woolworths managed. I advised her that they used the loading bay but Tesco didn’t want it as it would have made the store too big to be an express. A problem of their own making. !
I know this has been a long running saga but blocking emergency access is just not acceptable.
Sent: 12 September 2013 14:13
To: Kemp, Erica; Morrison, Tom; Kemp, Richard
Subject: Tesco Express Store
Erica, Tom, Richard
1. The Eddie Stobarts drivers have been instructed not to reverse their vehicles out into Allerton Rd but to drive up Plattsville Rd after they have made their delivery. (I had a “chat” with one of the drivers). This happens about 8am every morning. The vehicles crawl up the road as cars are double parked. There is clearance of inches. Consequently the vehicles are revving up and down as the driver moves very slowly. Consequently our windows rattle and for those not yet up a rude awakening ensues!
Why cant unloading happen at 7am in the bus stop. This is what Woolworths did. Bus traffic and other traffic at this time is minimal. No-one complained
2. We were told by Tesco that deliveries would not happen before 7am. There have been a number of times at 6:50 (when I go to work) that an Eddie Stobart vehicle has been parked in Plattsville Road.
3. The constant coming and going of customers illegally parked and otherwise is destroying pavements.
This is by no means the first of such complaints for residents and we have both raised these with your company and sent photographs to prove the point.
Let me be clear that there is NO designated loading bay for the shop. We had meetings with Tesco staff and consultants some 18 months ago at which certain reviews were promised by Tesco but, we are not surprised to note, no action was taken by you.
With regard to Rose Lane again there is a sorry story to tell. We have clear agreement that there will be no unloading at peak hours in the morning when the two bus stops are used by large numbers of adults and school children. After about 9.15 the road is comparatively empty for 2 hours when unloading could take place with minimum problems.
Again let me be clear there is no designated loading bay for this outlet.
From time to time, despite what you say about schedules, lorries park and create a danger to children during those peak hours.
I am informed that last month a lorry of yours actually parked across a nearby zebra crossing and was prepared to take a ticket from a passing warden so that he could continue with his delivery schedule. The impression that the driver gave was that Tesco’s orders were to take FPNs but maintain the delivery schedule at all costs.
Here, again are some complaints from my constituents:
Resident from Pitville Rd called my office on 4th October – “25ft truck parked on the zig zag lines of the pedestrian crossing meant I had to stand in the road to see if the bus was coming – the truck then did a u turn !”
Resident from Millersdale Road called my office on 23 September – “Due to the tesco lorry blocking the zebra crossing I had to edge out on the crossing with my children knowing full well that cars couldn’t see pedestrians at the start of the crossing due to the lorry. This is an accident waiting to happen. To be fair a traffic warden approached and gave the driver a ticket but he just kept on unloading”
Holmefield Road. I will not respond further to the problems at this site as I understand that this will be going to a council committee shortly for resolution.
So to summarise I repeat what I said at the beginning of the letter. Tesco clearly believes that their delivery schedules are more important that major disruptions and danger to local residents and pedestrians. You believe that it is OK to completely block roads; you believe it is OK to park on zebra crossings which have been put in place to reduce risk to pedestrians. You don’t actually care.
So what I am doing is to convene a meeting of our Highways Engineers, Police and Parking enforcement officers. Together we intend to take action to ensure that Tesco does keep to the law and that the roads are not obstructed and that people are not put at danger. We will be formulating this in a letter to the traffic commissioners who, as you are probably aware, have wide spread powers to take action against fleet operators who consistently break the law.
I regret having to take such steps but after more than 4 years of patiently working up deals with Tesco which the Company has then blatantly ignored you have left us with no option.
I am sending this letter to you as a courtesy – I wish you behaved as well to my constituents.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats