I was interested in David Groves’ assertion (December 19) that the various supermarkets he mentions are “all unwanted and resented by the great majority of the local population.”
Really? On what evidence does he base this claim?
My experience is completely the opposite - 60 per cent of residents do their main “trolley shop” out of town , where they can get all their purchases under one roof. The prospect of doing your main shop in Hebden, going from shop to shop, laden down with an ever increasing number of bags, and with nowhere to park, is quite simply ludicrous.
A decent supermarket in Hebden Bridge would mean that at least some of that 60 per cent would be tempted to stay locally. There would be less traffic movement on our roads, because they wouldn’t have to drive as far to do their main shop. And staying locally, some may well be tempted to use some of the other independent shops in Hebden Bridge.
At the recent planning meeting concerning the development of the Mytholm Works site, one of the councillors on the Planning Committee cited the example of Elland. In the past year two supermarkets have moved into that town. The result? Well people are staying locally to do their shopping and as a result, smaller shops are opening up.
My feeling is that, if the existing shops in Hebden Bridge could cater for all the demands of residents, including parking facilities, then fair enough, we wouldn’t need additional supermarkets. If we lived in an affluent community where we could all afford to pay a little over the odds for our shopping, there too, there’d be no need for any other shopping outlets. Sadly, neither of those situations is the case.
Surely we must allow people to vote with their purses and wallets? If David Groves is right, and the “great majority” don’t want supermarkets, they will fail. If, however, they thrive, does that not demonstrate that they are satisfying a demand which the “great little shops of Hebden Bridge” have clearly failed to do?
Eaves Mount, Hebden Bridge.