Concern Tesco arrival will spell doom for amenities
CONCERNS have been raised that Cheltenham's newest Tesco Express store could pose a threat to other amenities in the area.
The supermarket giant opened an outlet in Queen's Road, opposite the railway station, last month amidst much fanfare, creating 18 new jobs.
But residents fear it could put pressure the nearby Midcounties Co-operative, in Gloucester Road, which also includes the only post office in the area.
Staff at the Co-op have admitted there has been a drop in trade since Tesco arrived.
Bissell's 8910E Aroma Pro is the ultimate in home cleaning giving you a machine that provides outstanding results when not just cleaning carpets but stairs and upholstery too.
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
Peter Bowman, 67, of nearby Lansdown Road, warned there would be a long-term negative impact on the community if the Co-op and the post office, were forced to close.
"Although it looks like positive news with Tesco coming in creating 18 new jobs, I feel we should consider the net increase in employment should the Co-op be forced out of business," he said.
"If that were to happen, would Tesco take over the post office counter, which is of great convenience to people in the area?
"And if the paper delivery service goes so will one of the few remaining opportunities for school children to get an experience of working life and responsibility while earning a bit of pocket money.
"I just feel that when planners are looking at what is being added when they approve these applications, they should also look at what might be lost as a result."
Charles Finch, 72, of Queen's Road, added: "A lot of people would be really stuck if the area did not have its own post office."
A spokeswoman for Tesco declined to comment on the impact the store's arrival might have on rival traders.
But she said there would not be enough room at the Tesco Express store to accommodate a post office if the current one were to close.
The concerns come at a time when there are moves afoot to protect community post offices across the country.
The Government has outlined plans to generate business for branches to secure their future following a raft of closures.
Lucrative contracts with the DVLA and other Government departments could make them a "front office" for Whitehall in future.
A Post Office spokesman said the branch had an important part to play in community life.
"We are committed to maintaining our services in the area," he added.
Bosses at the Midlands Co-operative were unavailable to comment or give any reassurances over the future of the store when contacted by the Echo yesterday.