Mary Portas supports ‘Say No to Tesco’ campaign

The proposed site for the new Tesco Express store.

The proposed site for the new Tesco Express store. - Credit: Archant

The retail guru has pleged her support on Twitter for those campaigning against plans for a Tesco Express in Westward Ho!

Mary Portas's tweet

Mary Portas's tweet - Credit: Archant

A CAMPAIGN to ‘Say No to Tesco’ in Westward Ho! is gaining momentum as the ‘Queen of Shops’ pledges her support on Twitter.

Bev Coombes, who owns Delica Devon in Nelson Road and started the ‘SNOTT’ campaign, was delighted when Mary Portas responded to one of her tweets this week.

Bev discovered the retail guru had supported Herne in Kent in its campaign against the superstore and sent her a message on the social networking site.

Responding to the tweet, Mary said on Wednesday: “Delighted to: “NO” MT“@Delicadevon: help us Say No to Tesco Westward Ho! Independent shops will close down if Express opens”.

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Mary was the first of many celebrities that Bev and the SNOTT steering group is hoping to get on board using social media.

Bev told the Gazette: “I haven’t stopped smiling since I saw the tweet on Wednesday.

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“To get her name behind our campaign is brilliant.”

The plans for the store in part of the Sunshine Leisure Amusement Arcades in Golf Links Road was announced in June.

Bev said the steering group, made up of local councillors and business owners, has invited Tesco to attend a meeting with them in September.

She said: “We don’t believe they have actually been to Westward Ho! and we want to give them a guided tour and show them why Tesco isn’t needed here.

“We know from other towns and villages that people power is the main strength we have so we have to keep fighting.”

There are also plans forming to mount a protest march around the village, with the full details to be confirmed.

Tesco spokesman Simon Petar confirmed that it had not yet submitted an application for minor works on the property.

Dating from May this year, the building already has planning consent for change of use to a retail store.

Mr Petar said: “We believe our Express convenience store will be a welcome addition to the local area.

“It will be a shot in the arm to the local economy and we know our Express stores are very popular in the local community.”

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