Saving the High Street

Large Supermarkets have moved the traditional high street 'in house' to their stores. But it is within the realm of the Council to do something about this theft of the high street by utilising existing Licencing Granting powers and Planning Application/Granting Powers.

In the first example of what could be done; The Council could withdraw the Licences granted to supermarkets to sell Alcohol.

The granting or withdrawing of Licences to sell alcohol is soley within the gift of the Council, so by withdrawing such Licences from supermarkets it would make opening an 'off licence' shop on the high street more likely to succeed and I would suspect would have the support not only of the wider public, but also of the Police and Publicans who are struggling to compete with the cheap alcohol sold by large supermarkets that is often the cause of violence in otherwise well run pubs, when people arrive already drunk on cheap supermarket booze.

The Council also have the ability, through Planning Application Laws and Regulations, to decide what sort of retail facilities are allowed in large supermarkets.

So bearing in mind that Large supermarkets are (supposedly) primarily Grocers, the Council could, and should, remove the ability for large supermarkets to set up Bakeries, Delicatesent counters, Fruit and Veg counters and displays, Fish counters, Butchers counters etc.

They should also be prevented from selling Gardening tools and D.I.Y., clothing and Electrical goods etc. Chemists, Opticians and Post Offices.

In fact anything that is not a pre-packed food Grocery supermarkets were originally set up to sell.

The High Street has been stolen by large supermarkets and it is within the remit of the Council to have it restored by taking the measures set out here without dipping too deeply into the billions of pounds profit large supermarkets make every year.

Why the contribution is important

Large Supermarkets have stolen the High Street.

The Council do much hand wringing about this problem but refuse, for some reason, to use the powers they have to have the High Street restored.

Cheap Alcohol sold in supermarkets is a problem acknowledged by most professional bodies, N.H.S Police, Social Services etc. But, whereas the Council are quick enough to ban Smoking in every concevable area, the problem they can most quickly do something about, preventing cheap alcohol being sold in supermarkets by withdrawing the Licence to sell alcohol from supermarkets, they do nothing.

Simmilarly, the Bristol Memorial Ground has an application in to put a supermarket at this location that will ruin the Gloucester Road High Street trade.

By all means grant the application, but tell the supermarket they can only sell Groceries and not scoop up Bakeries, Fishmongers, Iron Mongers etc or open a Cafe or coffee bar on the premeses etc.

This would be fair to existing small businesses and would encourage more to open.

This is about fairness to existing citizens of Bristol running and using small shops on the high street and not to the very one sided benefit of share holders of large supermarkets, most of whom have probably not even visited Bristol, but have been allowed, over a very long time, to steal our High Street shops and pack them into their large supermarket stores. - With the full permission and compliance of the Council.

Any jobs lost by curtailing supermarkets in this manner would be replaced by jobs created in small businesses. Often under better terms, conditions and pay.

And any business tax lost to the Council by curtailing supermarket activity would also be made up by increased small business taxes,

And grants and subsidies to small businnesses from the Council (Council tax payers) just to keep them afloat, would also be reduced as small businesses become more successful, not having to unfairly compete with supermarket giants.

In terms of health and sociability.

The ability to walk to local shops, meeting neighbours and being personally advised by the shop keeper about fruit and veg, cuts of meat or fish and how to cook it etc has been lost to the supermarket production line, 

A view of any large supermarket car park will provide sight of harrassed families in 4x4 vehicles shoveling pounds of junk food into the back of the vehicle as fast as they can. Surely this is not the quality of life Bristol aspires to.

But many people would argue that it is the only life they can aspire to as the local shops are now all betting shops, Quick Loan shops, kebab shops and coffie chain 'cafes'.

Council tell us that they are 'appaled' at the situation. But do nothing to use the powers they clearly have to rectify the situation and level the playing field between large supermarkets and small shop keepers..

Large supermarkets are Grocers, And that, in all fairness, is all the Council should allow them to be.

So come on 'radical Bristol' break the National mould on this one.

Stop the supermarket juggernaught before there is nothing left but the supermarket juggernaught and we are all at their mercy if we want to eat (or do almost anything for that matter - Post a letter, get our eyes tested, ask the advice of a chemist, see a Doctor or Solicitor..... They are trying to take all of it).

by user747233 on November 28, 2013 at 12:28PM

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