‘Let’s have more debate and opinions, but please think about them first and make them without unnecessary emotion.’
THE correspondence in your pages regarding the prospect of a new supermarket in Thame has been fascinating, incorporating a wide range of views with some interesting personal and totally subjective opinion.
However, it has also been very muddled, with some writers even contradicting themselves, and lacking in any objective analysis or comment.
Let’s deal with the easy parts first; there is no way the town or district council are going to fund a community centre or any other non commercial use of the cattle market.
There is no money and council tax should be going down not up. I would be very unhappy if local taxes were going to such a scheme and not to essential social services.
If Sainsbury’s doesn’t build community facilities, they won’t, and shouldn’t, be built at all.
Secondly, the cattle market site will be redeveloped. If Sainsbury’s does not build there then, in order to allow the market to move to more appropriate premises, someone else will.
Whatever form this development takes it may be even less desirable than a supermarket to those who currently object.
Thirdly, it is a fantasy that Sainsbury’s is going to bring to Thame all the things your correspondents want, like cheap clothes for children, and ignore their core business which is, like all supermarkets, food and drink.
I have two further points: I understand, from your pages, that one way or the other Thame will be obliged to increase its population with new housing built on the periphery of the town.
All those interested in the supermarket debate should consider where these folk will shop?
Are they to be encouraged into the town, and thus also make use of the current range of outlets, or discouraged and left to drive elsewhere, like many others already do?
Secondly; I wonder if any of your correspondents have actually walked through Thame and considered the shops which will be actually adversely affected by the entrance of a larger supermarket?
The high street shops are always referred to as a collective by the opponents of Sainsbury’s without any objective review.
Thame has lots of estate agents and charity shops with which I assume Sainsbury’s will not be in competition and very many eating and drinking establishments. The jewellers, hairdressers, upmarket ladies and gents outfitters and other specialist shops are unlikely to consider another supermarket to be out to pinch their trade.
With two of the best butchers in the county they can look forward to the opportunity that more visitors will create.
If existing and new residents fulfil their basic shopping needs away from Thame then chances are that over time the existing food outlets will decline anyway, footfall will decrease and Thame will be left with estate agents and charity shops.
This maybe what some residents want? If so, be brave enough to say so!
I personally use all the supermarkets and shops in Thame, including the existing Sainsbury’s, and have no bias toward any but I would hate to see such an important decision about the future of the town be influenced by the sort of subjective views that have so far surfaced in your pages.
Let’s have more debate and opinions, but please think about them first and make them without unnecessary emotion.
‘Clean up our public areas’
Romily Whitworth Thame
I WRITE on behalf of many patents with children who use Gas Alley each day on the school run regarding the disgusting state of this alley way.
There are currently six areas along the alleyway where dog fouling has occurred which has been cycled, scootered and walked through making it virtually impossible to walk through without standing in it. Please can I make a call out to possibly the few dog owners that are giving good dog owners a bad name. The message is simple, clean up and respect our public areas and have some pride. Note, this isn’t just a problem on gas alley, Wellington Street and Croft Road are also a disgrace.