Letter: 6 August 2008

Giant expansion is not all good news

It is with much concern that I read the supermarket giant Tesco has been given permission to expand its presence at Rainham Mark.

I think it’s great the store is expected to pay for the rebuilding of what has become “affectionately” known as the “Tesco roundabout” on the A2, fund bus and road improvements and invest money into the town centre.

However, what I don’t see coming from Tesco are assurances that it will compensate the most important group of people who will be affected by the growth: small business owners in Gillingham and Rainham who stand to lose customers to the new store, which will sell a greater range of products. Perhaps the hardest-hit businesses, though, will be in Twydall, which is just two minutes from the store.

It is also good that the new store will create jobs and invest in the community, but it must be remembered that jobs will also be threatened by the expansion, businesses will be threatened because they are unable to compete with the giant and the lives of local residents who depend on their local shops and services may also be made much more difficult.

Alan Collins
from Twydall, by email