‘We both want the best for our town’

TWO organisations have agreed to draw a line under their dispute and work together for the best interests of Todmorden.

The town council invited James Gregory, chairman of Todmorden Pride, to respond to councillors’ concerns about meetings Todmorden Pride has held with representatives from Netto and Sainsbury’s without the town council’s knowledge.

At last week’s town council meeting there was an initially tense exchange between Mr Gregory and Coun David O’Neill, who raised the concerns, but the two men later shook hands and agreed to move on.

Mr Gregory explained that the meeting which seemed to have worried the town council was held to negotiate the councillors’ preference for the proposed Netto supermarket to be constructed from more suitable materials.

A member of Todmorden Pride who is a commercial architect drew up a design incorporating the new materials in an attempt to persuade the developer to make the changes.

“We were astounded that a subsidiary of Walmart went away and came back with a proposed change and we welcome that hugely,” Mr Gregory said.

“I can’t find anything to regret other than a misunderstanding with this council and if that has happened then I apologise.”

Todmorden Pride also met with representatives from Sainsbury’s as part of the supermarket’s ongoing consultation process.

“We made the case that they should not be building this,” Mr Gregory said.

“I would be very surprised if any member of the council objected to that, but I believe it may have had some success.

“We made the case about the design but they were not interested in making changes.”

Mr Gregory stressed that all meetings of Todmorden Pride are open and councillors are welcome to attend.

He said he is in regular contact with the town council, especially the Mayor and committee chairmen Coun Joe Rez and Coun Anne James.

He thanked the town council for its support with the Oxford Street and Lever Street gateway project

“We have other ideas and hope to draw up plans, not just talk about them, and bring them forward and hope that Todmorden town council, where it feels appropriate, will consider them,” he said.

Coun O’Neill thanked Mr Gregory for attending. “This could be the start of something good,” he said.

“I hope in the future that we will work together for the good of the town. We both have the best interests of the town at heart.”

l HOW do you think organisations in the town can best work together? Email todnews@todmordennews.co.uk