Your letters, August 28, 2014

Your Views - here are the letters published in the Harborough Mail on August 28, 2014.

As usual, there are lots of views and opinions on a host of subjects in this week’s Mail, with the Tesco out-of-town store debate still rumbling on.

TESCO: Bemused by the council’s stance

Cllr Phil King’s letter responding to Michael Weedon of the British Independent Retailers’ Association caused me some bemusement.

If the projected sales figures come to pass, Sainsbury’s store will lose £7.8million per year of its sales from its current level of £35.12million, which is 22.2 per cent.

According to Cllr King, this can be done without significant adverse impacts.

How large a percentage reduction would be needed for the district council’s retail advisers NTL and Cllr King to consider it would have a significant adverse impact?

The mind boggles.

The projected reduction is still a major one in terms of lost turnover and profit margin, even if the lower sales level is better than that of an average Sainsbury’s store.

It would surely cause the Sainsbury’s management to review its Market Harborough store cost base and service levels.

The assurance that the Tesco Metro store will remain trading has a hollow ring to it after the recent decision by Tesco not to proceed with the planned Desborough store development.

The sudden change of chief executive since the planning decision for Market Harborough was taken may yet lead to a different business strategy for Tesco’s new out-of-town supermarkets of the type and scale of the proposed development.

G Brian Tanner, by email

TESCO: Overwhelmed by the statistics

After being blinded by science in the letter from Cllr Phil King (Mail, July 31) and being overwhelmed by statistics in the letter from Michael Weedon, of the British Independent Retailers’ Association (Mail, August 14), I would like to express the views of my partner and myself, two regular shoppers in Market Harborough.

We usually visit Market Harborough twice a week and do our main shop on Fridays.

We travel to the town via Little Bowden, so usually call into Lidl for my partner’s liquid refreshment for the week.

We then visit Waitrose and purchase some items for my elderly mother and quite often for ourselves.

After that, we park in Sainsbury’s car park for the very modest charge of 70p.

However, before we start our shopping we have a walk down St Mary’s Place, visit the indoor market, sometimes have a coffee, pop into Wilkinson and other stores and usually get as far as the High Street and visit my bank, all the while enjoying the wonderful hanging baskets, flower displays and wonderful tubs in the High Street, making the experience a real pleasure.

We still have time to return to Sainsbury’s to do our weekly shop and having our 70p reimbursed, so we have parked for no charge at all.

All the supermarkets around Market Harborough are within easy access of the town, why then would we want to visit some soulless out-of-town supermarket?

All the reasons for the Tesco out-of-town store being built, and all the reasons for it not being built will not affect the shopping habits of my partner and I.

We enjoy shopping in Market Harborough and will continue to do so. It would be interesting to get the views of other shoppers on this subject.

Clair Allan, Desborough

POLITICS: Making points over Europe

In response to Mr Hobson’s letter of August 7, may I make the following points:

1) The EU influences between 6.8 and 14.1 per cent of our laws, and most of the laws that have the biggest impact on life in the UK such as health and social care, education and welfare are entirely a national competence.

2) NATO’s role was to face the threat from the then Soviet bloc, and, while the need to co-operate over military matters obviously reduces the risk of conflict, so does co-operation over economic, social and political policies.

3) The economies of most Euro members have not been wrecked, indeed many eastern European economies have been enhanced.

The troubles of others are rooted in serious public overspending and the banking crisis, as well as Euro membership.

4) It is true that all trade agreements are now made at EU level, but negotiating as part of the EU gives us much more bargaining power.

As the world’s single largest market, in terms of spending power, we are able to make far more demands than as a single economy, especially when dealing with large economies such as the US, China, India and Brazil.

I suspect several major companies, including Japanese car firms, would not have sited in the UK without our membership of the EU.

5) We are subject to freedom of movement within the EU. The vast majority of EU citizens living in another EU country are of working age and in work; numerous studies show that EU migrants actually benefit our economy as they tend to be in work so paying taxes but are younger and less likely to have children so therefore less likely to use services like schools and health services.

For every £1 they receive in benefits, EU migrants pay £1.34 in taxes in the UK.

David Gair, secretary of the South Leicetershire Constituency Labour Party, and Amanda Hack, South Leicestershire Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for the 2015 General Election

THANKS: Fun-packed day raised £4,800

The Quenby Fayre held recently raised much-needed funds for the Harborough Christian Counselling Service (The Bower House).

The event raised £4,800 following a tremendous fundraising festival at Quenby Hall on July 5.

It was supported by sound equipment and expertise from HFM and music talent invited by Stage by Stage Events.

A team of some 70 volunteers joined forces to put on a fun-packed day with non-stop music, entertainment and other activities including a family dog show. After a wet morning the sun shone and around 1,500 visitors enjoyed the afternoon.

The funds raised will go directly towards supporting the work HCCS does in providing counselling to anyone, irrespective of means, who lives in the Harborough district.

HCCS thanks Welland Valley Feeds and Savills estate agents who also sponsored the event’s publicity.

Christine V Bairdir, Harborough Christian Counselling Service

POLICE: Fear at the lack of officers out there

Having recently contacted the police about HGVs taking a short-cut through our village once again and ignoring the mandatory weight limit, the police took the time to visit and advise that all we could do is phone the companies concerned, which I have with some cooperative results.

I was frankly amazed when the officer told us how three policemen have to cover Harborough district.

With the increase in rural crime, its no wonder that certain individuals do exactly what they like, for instance kids driving massive tractors and trailers whilst using mobile phones and as Tabitha Clews observes (Mail column, August 14) racing around Harborough and rural roads which represent a police-free racetrack. Reducing the police presence is irresponsible and represents the deterioration of our quality of public services brought about by this government’s ill thought out, ridiculous cost-cutting.

Maureen Falkner, by email

REUNION: We can help find old shipmates

Thank you again local newspapers, like the Harborough Mail, for printing my letters about reuniting those who have served together in the Royal Navy.

I have received some lovely stories and am pleased to announce that over the years I have managed to reunite lots who have served together, much with the co-operation of the local newspapers.

My letters are often cut out and sent to someone who has served.

One of the main points in letters to me, is the missing of the camaraderie of those who served in the Royal Navy and wish they could relive some of it.

Well, thanks to a little bit of effort and co-operation, this can be done in the form of an RN Shipmates Reunion which will be held in Bristol over the weekend of February 27 to March 2 next year. This includes a couple of coach tours over the weekend and of course, a Tot Issue. The ladies are not forgotten, so wives and partners are welcome too. No association is needed to join, no annual subscription, just come and “Swing the Lamp” and find old shipmates and how about using the internet radio to start now?

Send me a brief story of a shipmate you would like to be reunited with from your Royal Navy days and I will broadcast it on the internet all over the world at

This goes out locally on 91.5 FM and Wight Fibre network, but more importantly, on the world wide web each Wednesday evening from 7.30pm to 8pm.

The Royal Navy is going to be in the news a lot in the coming weeks with a new aircraft carrier and a new Royal Marine Band being formed to coincide with the aircraft carrier, so hurry and find your old shipmates.

Contact me for the reunion details or the internet radio messages: Mike Crowe on or at 7 Heath Road, Lake, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8PG.

The next move towards finding your old shipmate is now yours.

Mike Crowe, by email

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