Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sainsbury's won't start in "year ahead" says CEO

WORK will not start on a Sainsbury’s store in Dorridge “for the year ahead” CEO Justin King has said.

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Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

In a letter to residents, Mr King said the Forest Court scheme has been delayed because of economic conditions.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council gave permission forthe scheme in November 2011 but work has yet to start.

And it will re-open the closed former Total petrol station in the summer instead of the spring because of the condition of the building, he said.

Mr King said “operating conditions” and the store’s failure to win permission for a larger store “impact the economic viability of the scheme”.

The “usual” final details of the scheme took “several months” and “during this extended process the economy worsened”.

Mr King - who grew up in Dorridge - said: “The continuing uncertainty means that I’m sorry to have to tell you that our store in Dorridge has not been included in our development plans for the year ahead.

 “I can assure you that we keep the situation under regular review and will ensure that regular updates are available to the local community as the situation develops.

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I am sorry that this is not the answer that you might have been hoping for.”

The firm has to start work by November next year or will require fresh planning permission.


Mr King said: “However, we have since discovered that the existing canopy is in a bad state of repair so an additional application has now been submitted for a replacement canopy.

“Once we have a decision on this application we will start works and we plan to be open by the summer of this year.”

The news comes after a resident posted a picture of boardedup Forest Court on the firm’s Facebook site demanding action.

Its spokesman said they had received no update to report.

The full letter:

Thank you for your email dated the 13th of February regarding Dorridge.

I am pleased to tell you that planning permission was granted to undertake works to the petrol station in January this year. However, we have since discovered that the existing canopy is in a bad state of repair so an additional application has now been submitted for a replacement canopy. Once we have a decision on this application we will start works and we plan to be open by the summer of this year. If you have any questions on the timings of the petrol station works please contact Ben Littman, our Development Surveyor, on 0207 695 4517 or email ben.littman@sainsburys.co.uk.

 We were delighted to gain planning permission for a new store in Dorridge. As you may recall, the planning process took some time and consent was granted in August 2012 for a smaller store than the one we had originally envisaged, it is also subject to operating conditions. Both of these impact the economic viability of the scheme. There was then the usual post planning process, to confirm all details, which took several months. Meanwhile during this extended process the economy worsened. I’m sure that you will understand that we plan our building works some way in advance. The continuing uncertainty means that I’m sorry to have to tell you that our store in Dorridge has not been included in our development plans for the year ahead.

I can assure you that we keep the situation under regular review and will ensure that regular updates are available to the local community as the situation develops.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I am sorry that this is not the answer that you might have been hoping for.

Yours sincerely

Justin King
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77 comments:

  1. Well done all you Sainsbury's supporters. What does the Doctor's surgery do now?

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  2. Poor Sainsbury I don't think.

    Watch this space as they re-apply for a bigger store with fewer restrictions.

    Just economics don't you know.

    We can't make a profit.

    Meanwhile we will just leave your village boarded-up to teach you a lesson not to oppose the mighty ORANGE.

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  3. I guess that means we will be stuck with the grotty rundown doctors' surgery.

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  4. It is obvious the sainsburys don't want the Dorridge site now that Waitrose has gained planning consent in Knowle. The most sensible solution now is for Waitrose to buy the Dorridge site and develop it. That would be a win win situation for everyone!

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    Replies
    1. So it's ok for Waitrose to build a big superstore in Dorridge but not Sainsbury's??
      Double standards methinks!
      Let's not pretend that Waitrose wouldn't build as big a store as Sainsbury's either!

      Delete
  5. I for one will not be crying into my cup of tea for those poor doctors who aren't going to have their privatly owned business premises improved as a bribe to villagers to accept an over large development.

    They supped with the devil and now he isn't going to slip gold into their back pockets...big ahhhhh

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  6. I can't believe so many people were taken in by Sainsbury's. I think there are some who owe the DROVS an apology.

    Personally, I hope it stays boarded up for years. I like the peace and quiet.

    M.

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  7. Are you joking? It's the DROVs fault we now have this eyesore in the village instead of the redevelopment. Fools.

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  8. Apoplectic of Dorridge21 February 2013 at 09:13

    What a shame the arguments are reverting back to DROVS valid attempts. We may well have been left with a different eye-sore/problem but we will never know.

    I would like to see us unite around the current issue, which may well stretch into 2014+ and write to our MP, counsellors, media etc etc.

    It may not make any difference but bleating on about the past here certainly won't.

    Go to the Facebook page

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  9. If it's the eyesore factor that bothers people so much, perhaps Sainsbury's should pay for some of these... http://www.shopjacket.co.uk/shopjackets-regenerating-shops/

    I expect that Sainsbury's will use this huge public outrcry (a few people on Facebook) as a justification to build an even bigger development.

    How people can trust or support these unethical, lying toerags is beyond me.





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  10. Matthew and the whinge bag nimby DROVS are to blame. By forcing them to reduce the size to the piddly little one now proposed has made it non-viable.

    I hope they re-submit for a bigger one and get it approved.

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    Replies
    1. If it had been non-viable then they wouldn't have applied - and it is hardly piddly.
      More likely their footfall estimates have changed now the Waitrose is approved for Knowle..

      Delete
    2. t is far too small. If it's not big enough to have things like a deli counter, fish counter etc which would require a store bigger than Solihull, people will still use the larger stores on the Stratford Road.

      Delete
  11. Sainsbury's have today released the following statement:

    Sainsbury’s has confirmed that work on the new store development in Dorridge will not begin in 2013.

    Ben Littman, Regional Development Manager for Sainsbury’s, said: “Whilst the Dorridge development was approved at the planning committee meeting in November 2011, Sainsbury’s did not receive full planning permission, free from legal challenge, until the end of November 2012.

    “Whilst we are delighted to have secured full permission, the continued economic downturn during the drawn-out planning process, combined with a smaller store than the one we originally planned for, has led to us having to review in detail the viability of the scheme.

    “This review means we are unable to include construction works in our plans for the year ahead.

    “We appreciate that this is not the news local people have been hoping for, but we would like to assure people that we are keeping the situation under regular review and are continuing to work with organisations such as the highway authority and the doctors surgery to confirm their respective scopes of work.

    “We will keep the community informed as the situation develops and I would also like to assure residents that the security of Forest Court will be maintained in the meantime.

    “With regards to the petrol station, I am pleased confirm that the works will take place as soon as full consent is granted, following an amendment to the approved application. We hope that it will be open by early summer this year.”

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  12. I have a suspicion that there's an unwritten third limb of Mr King's 'economic viability' argument (beyond the consented size and operating conditions): Knowle Waitrose. And I would wager that this has had a bigger impact than either of the expressly stated factors.

    Of course, the irony is that Sainsbury's has by its actions effectively granted Waitrose a collosal headstart in the race for the local market in at least two ways:

    1)from an operational perspective, because Waitrose may be open first, and they will have time to get people's shopping habits entrenched; and

    2)from a marketing perspective, because Sainsbury's current actions are causing it to haemorrage whatever community goodwill it had managed to rustle up in the first place.

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  13. My take on it is that Sainsbury's will wait for development to start on the Knowle Waitrose, then shelve the Dorridge development. If Waitrose for whatever reason don't proceed in Knowle, they will either resubmit for a bigger store in Dorridge or put a Sainsburys in Knowle on the Waitrose site... The sooner Waitrose start in Knowle the better as it will force Sainsburys to do something

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  14. A marvelous site for a mosque or a drug rehab centre , now that would give the handwringers something to whinge about .

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  15. @12:11

    I think you're largely correct. If Waitrose pull the plug on their development, then Sainsburys can point to the fact that the grant of PP in Knowle suggests that Solihull Planning think that there is demand for something bigger. A lot of the issues in relation to this growing debacle all stem from the lack of coordination on the part of Solihull Planning - they've made Sainsbury's argument for them. Thanks, guys.

    I doubt either operator will get to build their supermarket on the site of the other. Each would hold the other to a king's ransom (no pun intended) before ever selling their site to a rival: rumour is that Sainsbury's only were only spurred into acquiring the Dorridge site to preempt Waitrose's own attempts to secure it.

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  16. Hi This is worrying as I don't know if you all know that Waitrose wanted to take over the old Spar in Forest Court it must have been 10 years ago but Spar had a policy of not letting competitors take over any of their retail sites so it just sat there empty for years partly leading to the situation we have now. Just because they don't want to spend the money to develop they site does not mean they want any of their competitors getting a foothold in our area, better for them to buy it up and sit on it!! So we could be stuck with that horrible and dangerous eyesore for years. I honestly believe that the fact that Justin King the CEO was brought up in Dorridge if spun correctly could be an embarrassment and PR nightmare for Sainsbury's. It seems as though this is something they are doing allot in this area to leave something like this and not even knock it down and level it is contrary to everything they purport to stand for ie. the regeneration of village centers. How Lovely! If he is willing to do this to the "Village" he was brought up in what does that say about the company he is running???

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  17. Well, s**t hits fan come to mind. As an ardent supporter of the ORIGINAL scheme, we realised that the smaller store would be non-viable. Sainsburys nationaly are pulling back. So what now, please can Waitrose come to Dorridge.

    There is no group to blame outright for this debacle, we have all been taken for aride by Sainsburys and where are the council now. All we have is a hideous wreck in the middle of Dorridge. I bet the butcher is a happy man.

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  18. A co ordinated response needs to be formed here, e.g. get the local MP involved (Caroline Spelman) and the council so the profile of this situation is raised - any volunteers? DROVS?

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  19. In the end it will be about cold, hard economics.
    Waitrose did have the option on buying Forest Court initially but wouldn't pay what 'Blue Boar' (Muntzs')wanted for it. Sainsbury's did pay - the site is expensive to develop being built on a slope. There is no reason to think Waitrose won't build in Knowle - the flat site is easy to develop - unless they feel the economic downturn will make that plan less viable.
    There is no chance that Waitrose will aquire the Dorridge site - this strange idea that Sainsbury's/Waitrose develpments are interchangeable is just wrong-headed.
    We seem to be stuck with this situation - I have to say the DROVs campaign leading to the long delay hasn't helped - but that is beside the point.
    K.
    Very disappointed to see M. say he would like to see it boarded up for years as some sort of punishment to Sainsbury's supporters - really we all should want the store up and running asap
    Not convinced anyone can do much though - It's all about business and if it's more viable to spend their budget developing stores at other locations that's what they will do.

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  20. Sorry but not everyone does want the store up and running, personally I don't mind a supermarket but still want one much smaller. DROVs saved Dorridge from a ridiculous first scheme, it's easy in hindsight for people to forget just how flawed that scheme was, with the doctors in a first floor corner with access only through an underground car park. Planning agreed it was not the scheme for Dorridge. The second scheme is extremely ambitious, but is only slightly smaller - remember both schemes take up the whole site, again don't be fooled that the 2nd is massively reduced - it isn't.
    Justin King doesn't give a stuff about Dorridge whether he was brought up here or not, this is about cold hard cash and business. The supermarkets are at last starting to feel a little bit of the hardship taht everyone else has been feeling for a while. Look at the financial news and you will see that their best stores are the small/medium sized food stores, not the giant superstores.
    Sainsburys could do well with a smaller store if they stocked the right stuff. The big problems are access (one way in due to low bridge) and parking (insufficient) and really no amount of money is going to change that.
    I'm afraid they bought a very difficult site that will be very expensive to develop for anyone.

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  21. Apparently it is called Land Banking. Didnt they hooodwink us all!

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  22. Well I, for one, hope that Sainsburys will seriously reconsider their proposed development. From the outset, I hoped that Sasinburys would be prepared to offer something truly innovative, exemplary and market leading - an A-Class Sustainable Community Store. Instead we got a green-washed version of a 1960's supermarket - a big store with a car park. Not exactly 21st century. Yes you can, Sainsburys - work with the local community and create a new retail model - something you can be really proud of, a solution not a traffic magnet!

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  23. Chris I admire your optimism but don't believe that your vision represents a serious possibility.

    Sainsbury have got the residents of Dorridge over a barrel. The longer the old Forest Court remains an eyesore the more people will seek a solution that redevelops the area. Commonsense should tell us that we are the victims of a cynical company that is manipulating the situation so that opposition to an even larger store is muted.

    Please don't us the return to the naming calling that soured our community during the last planning application. Rather let us listen to idealists like Chris and seek a way forward that recognises both the need for redevelopment and also the limitations of the site.

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  24. What will distinguish Dorridge from other abandoned Sainsbury sites is that they are giving us a hostage to fortune: the petrol station that they still hope to run here in 2013.

    Does give threats of a boycott slightly more teeth...

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  25. http://www.cipr.co.uk/sites/default/files/17615351.pdf

    This makes for interesting reading: Sainsbury's PR firm Gough Bailey Wright put themselves up for an award for the spin they did for Sainsbury's - and all but admit that they were using 'sock puppets' on blogs like this one: "Monitoring of local blogs to ensure rebuttals could be released in the most timely
    fashion".

    £50,000 well spent, I'm sure (even if they've only left that figure in by mistake).

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    Replies
    1. good reading, but we all knew there would be a massive PR campaign, targeting the DROVS, and reinforcing the supporters of which I am one. The outcome was inevitable with the delay in work starting. Now how about some social housing on the site? Keep head down!!!

      Delete
  26. Nothing against social housing there were social housing flats inhabited on the site before sainsburys turfed them out. Bring it on.

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  27. That PR puff piece from Gough Bailey Wrong is a great read. I love the suggestion that there were "false allegations, rumours and misinterpretations".

    What, like the idea that they might actually build a store here or revamp the surgery?

    Dorridge, you've been well and truly had.

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  28. Hi

    If you have time please cut and past comments onto the sainsburys page too. We have radio, tv and press coverage growing interest. Http://ow.ly/1SdVKn . Thank you

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    Replies
    1. -or just click on my name and you'll be redirected there hopefully!

      Delete
  29. No statement from Dorridge Residents Association .....why doesn't that surprise me?

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  30. Dorridge Residents Association? A bunch of misguided idiots.

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  31. What an absolute shambles! Or is it? People are getting extremely agitated and vocal attacking those who tried to have a say in the future of their own village. Sainsburys can sit back and let us rot for a year or more, allowing the frustration and antagonism to grow.. - Then they can come back with another proposal at the end of it when everyone is so sickened by the eyesore they will accept anything. If you have no interest in peoples quality of life and are completely focussed on cash this makes perfect sense. Could it be that Sainsburys knew this from the start and consider this as just part of the process? Might that be why they allowed Forest Court to become delapidated in the first place? I liked living in a village but if the definition of a village is to become a supermarket this country is going to change considerably and for the worse. Sadly we are not alone in having this problem.

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  32. 19.27 you are so right

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  33. A land exchange is the answer.
    Put the Supermarket on the site of the Village hall with plenty of parking.
    Use the village centre site for a new doctors surgery and community facilities.
    Simple

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  34. For what it is worth, as Chairman of the Residents Association I can't simply cobble some words together, but have to ensure that I express the views of all of us, as a committee. Thought and time is required. Unsurprisingly, it was not hard to gain a consensus. You can read it here.

    http://www.dorridge.org.uk/2013/02/24/sainsburys-announce-delay-in-development/

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  35. In the meantime why not insist they level and grass over. It would show a commitment and consideration to the village they profess to care about.

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  36. How about an appology from the inept Residents Association that allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by Sainsbury.

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  37. Ian & DDRA - what a shame you didn't pause to gain a consensus on what size store most Dorridge residents wanted before you leapt into bed with Sainsbury's. They must have seen you lot coming!

    M.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure what the size of store has to do with this arguement M especially as we were continually told by DROVS that the 2nd revision was in reality hardly any different from the first!!

      Delete
  38. No doubt our stupid representatives at DDRA will help Sainsbury come up with a new huge store to enable them to make extra money and to heck with the village quality of life.

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  39. Well said 20:19. Sadly that is the inevitable way forward... slowly

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  40. Totally agree with you 20.19

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  41. It would be great if people could leave their more constructive comments also on Sainsburys Facebook page where 600 contributions are Logged so far. Http://ow.ly/1SdVKn. Other sainsburys customers can see them too. Hopefully if you click on my name above your should be redirected. Thank you.

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  42. Who appointed Ms Hatcher as arbiter of "constructive comments"?

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  43. Sainsbury have hoodwinked everyone, SMBC, DDRA, the doctors and the residents.

    They are only interested in building a mega store to maximise their profit.

    We can look forward to a long period of neglect whilst the old Forest Court descends into dereliction before our knight on a orange horse rides up and offers to build a new supermarket. By then we will be desperate enough to accept anything.

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  44. Hopefully the original larger store will now get approved rather than the pathetic compromise to stop the DROV's from whining.

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  45. The 2nd plan was no compromise the 1st was a disgrace and not just due to size. There were many faults including a 1st floor surgery with no drop off and delivery yard that meant vehicles exiting onto oncoming traffic.
    Why not move into the town centre if you want access to such extensive choice.

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  46. As a former trader of Forest Court, maybe now residents will be able to appreciate just how much stress and inconvenience we were put to at the hands of Sainsburys . We felt betrayed and unsupported .

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  47. To Anonymous 08.40 ...... if Ms Hatcher takes the time to set up and run this herself then good luck to her. In my view that entitles her to be the arbiter of whatever she likes! Would nice to see you move from the shadows and express an opinion rather than snipe. For me, no drama, I just want Sainsbury's to do what they said they'd do. If they don't then they really have betrayed us. Good news today is at least her efforts meant they fielded someone to talk even if he was a corporate spin merchant. If we all get behind the Facebook campaign and stop taking chunks out of one another then maybe we can start to inch forward.

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  48. 1. Sainsbury's bought the plot at the top of the market, just as the current economic crisis kicked in (2008).
    2. Waitrose got pemission to build in Knowle and with first mover advantage should be feeling pretty smug.
    3. DDRA had no right to position themselves is representing a community, and didn't even engage with the residents very much (DROVS filled that void).
    4. Likewise the doctors and chemist mislead the unsuspecting masses into getting them to sign petitions
    5. Sainsbury's are left with an asset on their books with lower current value than they paid for it.
    6. Justin King's previous relationship with Dorridge has no relevance at all.
    7. Forest Court is here to stay.

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  49. 13.07 my sentiments exactly very well put, thankyou

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  50. Can anyone tell me what has become of DROVS.
    I regret that so much personal ire was directed at them. They gave the village a wake up call and suffered at great deal of nasty remarks for their trouble

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    Replies
    1. DROVS are no more. Once the store got the go ahead and SMBC would not allow outside influence with regards to the outstanding issues on the application there was no point in continuing. The website is now gone as this had an associated monthly cost attached to it.

      Delete
    2. "I regret that so much personal ire was directed at them" and vice versa!!

      Delete
  51. Thank you for the information.

    I imagine the folk who set DROVS up last time will not be prepared to go through all the stress again....and who can blame them. OK they were a bit idealistic but at least they cared about our community unlike Mr Spencer and DDRA.

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  52. there's nothing wrong with being idealistic. all the DROVS people that I know cared tremendously about their village and wanted the best compromise - a reasonable sized store. most of us moved to Dorridge because we liked the village and the facilities it gave us. most of us didn't move to Dorridge in the hope that a supermarket would take over the centre and slap a huge store on it with all the attendant traffic, noise, litter, light pollution and the usual dire impact that supermarkets have on independent shops.
    Sainsburys decision to halt development could save the village from a dire future. it gives the butcher an opportunity to pick up sales from those totally disillusioned with supermarket meat products. we've still got a few independents left in dorridge let's get behind them whilst we still can because if the supermarket does go ahead, they probably be in business long.
    finally, how did Knowle manage to have 2 doctors surgery when Dorridge is struggling to have one decent facility without being financed by a supermarket. I'm assuming that Knowle wasn't financed by anyone other than the doctors and a loan!

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  53. Surely you aren't suggesting our resident quacks would have gained financially from the deal they so generously supported?

    What an outrageous suggestion!

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  54. New Community facebook site - please visit. Set up by Dorridge shop/bar owners with Lynda Hatcher (who's actions we never expected to take off in the way they did!) Register your support for action if you have FB

    CLICK ON NAME ABOVE OR GO TO

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sainburys-Dorridge/338607642926890
    thanks

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  55. I don't have Facebook. Or a Nectar card.

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  56. As a grown-up I don't have facebook either. A nectar card sounds scrummy though, where can I buy one?

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  57. I beleive the Facebook protest has replaced the old method of crayons and bedsheets

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    Replies
    1. If you prefer to use your bedsheets to make white flags, then be my guest.

      Delete
  58. A Facebook Campaign by the middle-class elite; will Justin King ever be able to sleep again?

    Grow up all of you. This is a big corp. They don't care.

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    Replies
    1. (reposted from another thread - but on point here)

      Starbucks are a corporation charged with maximising shareholder value, too - including minimisation of tax liabilities. But stakeholder pressure has resulted in them waiving reliefs that they are eligible for to the tune of £10m. Because sometimes such things, as part of the bigger picture, are good business. It stops boycotts.

      Tesco are a corporation charged without maximising shareholder value, too - which apparently included mixing a bit of horse into the burgers to keep costs down and the profit margin up. But stakeholder pressure has lead to them having to dramatically change their food sourcing arrangements to try to win back customers. Because it brings them back. And that keeps shareholders happy.

      So don't think that you can't have an impact. I admit that economic sanctions seem to hit harder than moral protest, but don't forget that Sainsburys are going to try to do business in Dorridge through the petrol station whether or not they develop Forest Court. So when they do open the pumps and the kiosk for business, don't give them your custom. The will pay attention sooner rather than later. And tongue in cheek stunts like Lynda's email are just designed to keep the agenda running in the foreground in the meantime. As Sainsburys rival says, every little helps.

      If you don't believe that you can have an impact, and you've already given up, fine. But don't lob hand grenades from the back when others are trying something, anything, to fight for a bit of progress on a clear and present problem.

      Delete
    2. So if we don't buy their petrol, it will force them to build a loss making supermarket (that we don't want anyway)?

      Yeah right. Grow up. Suggest you get a GCSE level economics book or failing that, some common sense.

      Delete
    3. If I understand you correctly, your logic turns on the supermarket actually being loss-making - which is quite a leap on your part and an assumption that needs to be challenged.

      And if it's wrong, then your argument fails.

      Delete
    4. Of course, you could always just tell any dissenters to "grow up", again.

      Because I'll be honest, that's a really winning argument.

      Delete
    5. Of course the supermarket will be loss making. If it was going to deliver bumper profits Sainsburys would have built it. There are enough large stores already as evidenced that none of us are dying of starvation. So where does the demand come from for a new store? By the substitution effect that's all. Some people will go to the new Sainsburys rather than Tesco etc. Ok so far? Then who buys what products and services in sufficient volume to give a financial return to the new tenants in the new additional outlets Sainsburys would have to build alongside their new store? A butchers? I doubt it, Sainsburys will be wanting to sell all the horse we can eat. A newsagent? No, ditto Sainsburys and 'little Tesco'. Dorridge has an optician already, a small dress shop, a hairdressers, a barbers etc.

      Forest Court is a very big plot. Sainsburys paid a lot of money for it. Waitrose, whose customer demographic very neatly reflects Knowle and Dorridge have bought a much better plot nearby. If Sainsburys built in Dorridge they would be left with a loss making store and a number of empty loss making shops within the overall development.

      And Justin K would get fired if he forced through a development simply because he used to live there. How many of you are pensioners or of working age and saving for a pension. You will indirectly have shares in Sainsburys. Thats why we have laws about corporate governance so people like Mr King can't behave the way you want him to do and with that, destry your pension savings and future income.

      The problem with Forest Court is historical, it's a big plot in an expensive location with restrictive development conditions. We cannot look to Sainsburys to resolve this complex problem. 'Grow Up' sums it up pretty well in my view as it means think the whole thing through and stop bleating about Mr King and him previously living in Dorridge. It's irrelevant.

      Delete
  59. Um, I think that's why it says "IF you have Facebook" - which as a pensioner I do. It doesn't stop you writing a letter instead, or in addition to. Or for that matter leaving facile comments here.

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  60. Please sign and pass the word on
    SUPERMARKETS OR SUPERPOWER?

    link above should work

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sainsbury-s-and-other-large-supermarkets-supermarkets-or-superpowers-say-no-to-boarded-up-britain

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