The No Tesco In Stokes Croft campaign rolls into the Council House on Wednesday for what looks like being the Final show down. Tesco continues its obdurate stance, with 24 hour security guards at the former Jesters, presumably in fear of the community they profess to wish to serve, looking every inch like robber barons of yore. Having taken control of their property by subterfuge,  they now hope to push home their sneakily-gained advantage, using our current  planning laws which are clearly, “Not fit for purpose“.

The No Tesco campaign has given to our Councillors sufficient reason to refuse Tesco permission to open in Stokes Croft. The City Planning Dept. has recommended in favour of Tesco.

Wednesday is the day that our elected Councillors must decide whether they will respect the demands of the people whom they were elected to serve, or whether they will side with corporate business, bending to the might of the multinationals who are in the process of crushing diversity everywhere.


It seems that the Law is set to change: “Big Society ” is the Coalition’s Big New Idea

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said this very week:

“For far too long local people have had too little say over a planning system that has imposed bureaucratic decisions by distant officials in Whitehall and the town hall. We need to change things so there is more people-planning and less politician-planning, so there is more direct democracy and less bureaucracy in the system. These reforms will become the building blocks of the Big Society.”

Greg Clark, Minister for Planning and Decentralisation, added:

“Most people love where they live, yet the planning system has given them almost no say on how their neighbourhood develops. The Coalition Government will revolutionise the planning process by taking power away from officials and putting it into the hands of those who know most about their neighbourhood – local people themselves. This will be a huge opportunity for communities to exercise genuine influence over what their home town should look like in the future. It will create the freedom and the incentives for those places that want to grow, to do so, and to reap the benefits. It’s a reason to say yes.”


Our councillors must take account of the way the wind is blowing, listen to the people, and refuse Tesco.

If you wish to speak at the council meeting, you must e-mail email hidden; JavaScript is required before 1200 Tuesday 7th

See below, a passionate submission from Rachael Marmite.

Dear Councillors,

I urge you to refuse permission to Tesco Plc to open at 138-142 Cheltenham Road. Do not grant them external works permission and do not allow them lit signs.

I was at the meeting 22nd September. I have been vehemently against the proposed Tesco from the moment I learned Tesco had put in for advertising consent, after they’d sneakily got G.L.Hearn (Bath address, nice touch!) to apply for Change of Use so that no-one saw Tesco coming.

I commend the squatters who squatted the old Jesters to buy us time in this ‘democratic’ process. I thank them for being willing and able to sit tight and go to court and make the point. If Jesters hadn’t been squatted and Claire and the others hadn’t freely given their time to mount, manage and maintain this long campaign to inform local people, this and other meetings like it would have been taken care of in private. The planners would have worked with Tesco to ensure that their application met all the ‘important’ criteria and already there would be Tesco carrier bags wafting in the gutters.

I have an academic interest in planning and how our city, our global village, develops. In the current economic climate, I recognise that councils, are skint. The Government has spent all the money they took from us on banks, and bankers don’t give a monkey’s what happens because they have private doctors and helicopters and whole temperate islands to which they can escape when people start fighting and being locked up over food again. And this will happen when we have no choice but to buy our food [medicine, clothes, hardware, gadgets, insurance, houses] from wherever Tesco Plc choose to source it, under whatever working/environmental/welfare conditions Tesco Plc dictates.

I would like to see all the independent shops open hours as they do in places like Italy. 7am-midday, close for five hours, 4-9pm. Ideally, this would be made easier by businesses being charged rates that reflect how local, ethical and sustainable the business proved itself to be. In the course of ‘having my say’ over this application, I have had to read a lot of waffly documents that imply such criteria are already being considered and taken seriously by our town planners and council leaders, but I see no evidence of this whatsoever in the recommendations being made in this case.

I understand how tempting it must be to eat from the hand that offers you cash for infrastructure, highways, schools, football stadiums and public art. Let’s face it! Even if the Government does promise to give you money to run stuff, the likelihood is, they’re lying or that they can revoke their promise, which is the same thing. When a nice lady from a big shiny company comes along and offers you ‘jobs’ and ‘community boards’ and ‘convenience’, it must be very hard to say, ‘no, thanks for the offer but our constituents don’t want you here’. With all the planning applications you get, I can understand why you might not devour every noise report with enthusiasm but we have highlighted inconsistencies. Claire and the team have done the work to make it possible for you to legally say NO TO TESCO. Be stronger councillors! You became a councillor because you cared and wanted to make a difference! It takes a person with guts to stand up and make the harder choice. This is your opportunity to be our elected representatives. Do it! SAY NO TO TESCO.

You can cite the extremely dodgy looking noise report, the rape of a historic frontage, the monopolisation of food retail in the centre of Bristol, the genuinely dangerous position cyclists and bus users will be put in when there are six lorries a day parked in their cycle/bus lane and the decimation of the planet as your reasons for saying NO TO TESCO. Enough is enough.

I won’t just roll over, give up and let ancient skills such as farming and land cultivation be wiped out in my country by greedy corporates. Unfortunately for you, you are in the middle. If writing accurate emails to the right address, within the deadline, doesn’t work and if you continue to fob me off and expect me to behave, I will have to find other ways to make you hear. I am not alone in this feeling. I am not violent and don’t believe in using violence to get my way but I am creative and happy to break some laws, if necessary. And if the Tory-lition lock me up for protesting over something as serious as food and farming, I’ll just have more time to write about it.

Thank you for reading my email.

Yours sincerely,



Below: No Tesco protestors show how the road will be blocked
by Tesco delivery vehicles