One of the main reasons for objecting to any supermarket on the Halifax Road site is the effect on social and economic make-up of the local Todmorden community, particularly opportunities for entrepreneurship.
The chance for people to become self employed, start their own businesses and grow - one day maybe even supplying Asda nationally - would be lost through the domination of one giant retailer.
With Asda, the “new” jobs for workers are hardly ever likely to be more than part time, lower wage retail employees. The recent Mary Portas Review on town centres highlighted markets as a route to self employment – and starting a new business – for the young. For the older too it is a route to self-employment where over 60s would be unlikely to get a job with Asda, but can “create” their own job by market trading. Asda’s domination of the retail sector, selling everything from apples to woks, would destroy all that !
Finally, Asda’s one day showing of its plans for a supermarket in Todmorden was not enough. One day was a mere token and not consultation. I was unable to attend on that one day, so I’m sure like many others, wasn’t able to see their plans. But if anyone would like to see the ‘real’ impact of an Asda supermarket on a local town centre, I ask them to visit Rawtenstall to see destruction for themselves.
Jeff Thomson, Curried Away, Todmorden Market