In his letter to the Todmorden News Craig Whittaker tells us that 4000 people signed the campaign in opposition to a possible Sainsbury’s store in Todmorden. Well - I am one of the 7000 people who did not sign!
Once upon a time Todmorden was a proud independent Borough and I am sure that it did not achieve that status on the back of the type of negative, doom laden campaigning which has characterised the Sainsbury issue.
It is an indisputable fact that Todmorden has been in decline now for a good many years and that plans to redevelop it have, in the main, been singularly unsuccessful.
Shopping in Todmorden is not good. It is difficult if not impossible to obtain some basic items that were available in the town in previous years - ladies clothes for example is a prime example. Encouragement to shop here is further hampered by an unhelpful parking policy and the end result is that too many locals go out of town to shop and people from neighbouring areas are not attracted in.
I believe firmly that if Sainsbury were to come into Todmorden it would provide much needed jobs, would enable a not inconsiderable number of locals who travel to Sainsbury’s in Halifax or Burnley to spend their money in Todmorden and I am certain that it would attract customers from outside of Todmorden.
Once shoppers are here it gives local shops and businesses the opportunity of increased custom.
What I do think is wrong and very much so is the planned development of the Abraham Ormerod Centre and Olympia site. Apart from the transport problems a supermarket on that virtually town centre site would have an immediate deleterious effect on the significant number of nearby cafes and the like.
With a little bit of thought it is surely possible to find a better use for that area - a heritage centre perhaps perhaps, tourism office, purpose stone built building in keeping with the historic character of the town.
Let’s think a bit wider than we seem to be doing.
Trevor Lumb, Todmorden.