Tesco ‘ransom’ claims are ‘staggering’

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If Tesco has held Cleckheaton to ransom for the last 10 years then it is because it has been allowed to do so.

For Kath Pinnock to complain about this is staggering and no doubt the opening gambit in an attempt to rewrite history and cloud her own collusion with Tesco and complicity in creating this situation.

There has been no will on the part of local councillors to stand up to Tesco for the benefit for Cleckheaton, the reverse in fact has been true. Standing up to Tesco could have made a difference, for example:

Mike Wood MP fought Tesco’s plans for a superstore at St Peg Lane and defeated them. He took them on again to secure a new home for Whitcliffe Road school. Howard Park school is now flourishing there.

All of this was opposed by Coun Pinnock who sought to protect Tesco’s interests at the expense of the town centre and local schoolchildren. The Savoy Cinema site eyesore opposite the Town Hall was finally regenerated after Spen Valley Civic Society took on Tesco and won! The result was the creation of what is now the Savoy Square. Just imagine what could have happened if councillors had stood up to Tesco instead of backing all their plans!

Coun Pinnock now says she wants another supermarket to develop Tesco’s site and an ADDITIONAL supermarket in the town. Her bizarre plan is little more than a suicide note for what is, all things considered, a vibrant town centre with a lot to offer.

Councillors should focus on bringing the derelict sites on the fringes of the town centre into use. The Coalition is rumoured to be about to send back Kirklees’s local development plan and demand yet more housing be included! Why not develop houses on the sites either side of Northgate? This could kill three birds with one stone.

It would regenerate two problematic, largely derelict town centre sites; put more people right on the doorstep of the town centre, which should boost trade; and it helps address the Conservative/Lib Dem hunger for more housing.

Surely it’s worth exploring options that won’t kill our town.

DAN HOWARD

Mill Carr Hill Road

OAKENSHAW