Posted by: notesco | February 16, 2010

Take the Survey and Make Your Voice Heard!

Please click the link below to take our survey and let us know how you feel about the proposed Tesco in Stokes Croft. There is also space for you to give suggestions as to what the building should be used for instead,  so please do fill it in as we will be submitting all of this to the council.

Please feel free to forward the link to your friends and neighbours from the area.

Also, a huge thankyou to the hundreds of people who turned up to demonstrate on Saturday! The demo was a huge success and sent a strong message to the powers that be that Stokes Croft residents want their voices heard.

Keep checking back for updates, or subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog.



  1. The majority of people in Stokes Croft would like a Tesco, it would help clear away the junkies and drunks. The ‘demonstration’ against it is pathetic, and consists of naive 1st year uni students playing music very loud from speakers on the roof and generally annoying local residents. I watched from a distance at the ‘demo’ on saturday and it looked lame. They had a middle class leggy 20 year old female wandering about trying t drum up support, who given a few years and a baby would want nothing MORE than a tesco opposite the luxury flat that daddy bought her. Grow up you students, saynototesco (like lots of current issues) is another name for communism. You’ll all move on shortly to well paid jobs (or teaching), let the people who actually live near Stokes Croft see their area improve.

  2. So, Dave, going through your comment line by line we have:

    A confident yet unevidenced assertion of a silent majority in favour
    A sweeping statement about the dayjobs of all 300 people on the demo
    A little side order of sexism
    A healthy dash of inverted snobbery based on assumptions regarding the wealth of someones parents
    A quite ridiculous reference to communism
    and finally
    A plea to let the forces of commerce improve Stokes Croft – presumably on the basis that this approach has been such a success over the last twenty years…

    Final grade: C for effort, F- for attantment – must try harder!

  3. It’s called reality Ben, Tesco will open up and more affluent people (perhaps you when you graduate?) will move in to the area raising house prices because of its proximity to the city centre. The peoples republic of Stokes Croft is a quaint middle class student hippie ideal that brushes over the serious social issues this area faces. The art is kind of interesting, but the price it goes for is now reflective of London gallery prices. For every ‘Banksy’ there’s a hundred people spraying crap on to the walls. Do you also think it’s cool being hassled by drug addicts and prostitutes as you walk through the area in broad daylight? The area needs to clean up, and it will. Your comments reveal your naive student idealism, though nicely worded.

    I also give you C for effort, but your spelling of attainment is shocking and your tutor would be appalled.

  4. First up, sorry for the spelling mistake – I was posting during my lunchbreak and rushed it – you are quite right to deduct grades for that.

    Secondly I was unaware of a link between Tesco stores opening and house prices rising? I think you are conflating lots of different pressures that don’t necessarily inter-relate. The store probably will end up opening, because the planning system is carefully designed to facilitate business, not impede it, regardless of local needs, desires or best interests. Despite this I have to admire the pride in Stokes Croft that fuels the opposition to the development. Tesco, and gentrification in general, provide no solutions to Stokes Crofts ‘serious social issues’ whereas PRSC and all the other associated activity at least offers some hope for local action which resists the homogony and sterilization that has drained the life from high streets across the country. You mention the art, but the art is just an aftertaste of what was really there – it is the activity that counts, and it is the activity that will be put at threat by efforts to standardize the Croft. As someone who has either lived or worked round here for twenty years, rather than just walking through, I can honestly say that life seems less full-on and in your face than it has been for years.

    Finally, those assumptions about the socio-economic circumstances of people you disagree with really don’t work out do they, seeing as I’ve been a worker since I was seventeen? But as we are playing a passive-aggressive guessing game I would say your probably stuck in a soul-destroying job that drains you on a daily basis, and that this means the idea of watching others trying to do something with a bit more meaning, both for themselves and their community, causes you pain somewhere deep down inside. How about finding a bit of space in your life for some idealism?

  5. You’re making assumptions about my “soul destroying job”, my career is based on the very specialized degree I took and fascinates me. I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about regarding a supermarket though, a complete non-issue compared to some of the problems we all face on a everyday basis. It will create jobs for starters, which is more than can be said for ‘PRSC’ which is frankly nothing in real or economic terms. And if you can’t see the relation between supermarkets arriving in a area and house prices rising, are you really qualified to offer any comment? Idealism is great, but I’m a realist. A supermarket in Stokes Croft is a non-issue. What would you like, another burnt-out building and more drug addicts?

  6. I have lived around here for over 30 years
    my children grew up here, still live around here, and we will continue to live around here.
    I know that all my neighbours and all the local shops that I frequent are opposed to this Tesco shop.

    Dave does not speak on behalf of the majority in Stokes Croft

    His opinions and views are odious and indeed specialised !!!

  7. Dave,

    “You’re making assumptions about my “soul destroying job”, my career is based on the very specialized degree I took and fascinates me.”

    Ah, my assumptions were wrong – there’s a surprise! Have you worked out my point about the assumptions in your original comment yet (or did your degree not include anything about logic)?

    And as you have done a degree I’m surprised at your lazy use of ‘student’ as a blanket pejorative term – slightly hypocritical perhaps?

    “It will create jobs”

    At best this statement is unproven, more likely it is simply untrue – a Competition Commission report back in 2000 made it clear that additional grocery sales across the sector had occurred without large increases in staffing, and a 1998 study by the National Retailer Planning Forum showed that when the jobs lost in other local retailers were taken into account new supermarket opening resulted in a net *loss* of local jobs (anything up to 276 jobs per full-sized store). I am unaware of any more recent research that disproves these findings (and this doesn’t even consider the low-skill, low-wage, low-security nature of the employment likely to be offered).

    Equally, I am unaware to find any research that shows a correlation between Tesco opening new stores and house prices rising – you seem very sure of this so can you give me link to research to back this up please? And if you can’t then maybe you should consider whether your opinion should carry as much weight as you hope it does?

    If you are a realist, then surely you must accept the evidence of your own eyes that PRSC and associated activities have done wonders to make the Croft a more welcoming, less bleak, place over the last few years. The changes to the Croft have *inarguably* increased footfall through the area with the associated economic benefits (I only mention economics as this seems to be the basis of your value system). I do not recognise your characterisation of the options available to Stokes Croft as a zero-sum choice between Tesco and burnt-out buildings, so you can take that straw man home with you.

    (Oh, and as a final aside, drug addicts are people too, you know. They are not defined by their condition or current situation – you would do well to bear that in mind when you dismiss them so casually – it could be you.)

  8. I too have lived in the area all my life. I am now 30. While I am no fan of Tesco, and agree that there are far too many of them in Bristol, I do think that it would benfit the area.

    Stokes Croft is one of the main veins into the city, and yet for 30 years has been neglaceted by the council. While i applaud the efforts by some in the local community to turn the area into a cultural zone, many living in the area are blighting it by living in squats. How is this benefiting the local community, do these people pay council tax?

    Indeed the protesters have hurt their campaign by letting the old Jester’s site turn into another squat.

    Stokes Croft needts the community to unite, against mindless vandalism, street drinking, drug abbuse, and the invasion of people living in the area not contibuting anything to the area except squating.

    I would live to see a great little independant food shop open on the old Jester’s site,I think that this would really benifit the area, however this is very unlikely to happen, new businesses open and close in the area all the time, thi s again not helped by the litter, and tagging and deralict buildings.

    At this stage with very little improvement to the area baring ‘Canteen’ Tesco would be a welcome addition, at least it would be well maintained, and business breeds business. I think the community have to be realistic about the options. If tesco don’t move in then who in the next year will take over the property that is going to contribute.

    (before the insults start to come sorry for the spelling)

  9. Well said James, the idiots squatting in the old jesters don’t represent the community but represent what has blighted Stokes Croft. And Ben (and green party activists) you’re just anti-capitalists up for any old ruck. Have you not noticed the huge blocks of flats going up on the corner of Bath Buildings? A Tesco round the corner will be what keeps their cars in their parking spaces and encourages them to walk to get food. The very thing we hear you banging on about all the time, you’d be straight on the bandwagon gobbing off about increased traffic/pollution/’man-made global warming’ if it wasn’t for a little supermarket going up where the local shops DON’T offer any alternatives. I’m sure the council RIGHTLY took this in to account. It’s called infrastructure, Ben. If you think the local community supports these squatters, you’re insane. Tesco will encourage re-generation in a area crying out for it. And, for the record, I will never be a junkie and I don’t have any empathy for them. It’s their choice, not mine. Naive is a understatement for your views. You and your mates contribute nothing to the area, but enjoy your student politics while you can.

  10. Well said, Dave and James. People do need to realize that not all local residents are implacably opposed to Tesco.

  11. Dave,

    Although we obviously disagree I’ve attempted to reply to you in a measured and polite fashion – it’s a shame you can’t bring yourself to do the same. I started to do a line-by-line demolition of the flailing, nonsensical, vacuous comment you have posted above, but seeing as you have decided to ignore my previous attempts to talk to you like an adult I have decided to sink to your level.

    You seem unable to process evidence given to you about the destructive nature of monopoly-capitalist business such as the supermarket chains, or to provide evidence to support your assertions in previous comments. You are therefore reverting to content-free ad hominem attacks on me, other contributors to this thread and the hundreds of people who have been involved in the cultural, social and economic life of the Croft over the last few years. I’m afraid that your straw-man arguments don’t distract from your failure to provide any logical statements to support your assertions – just stamping your feet and typing in capitals doesn’t count as an argument. (You did say you had a ‘very specialised degree’, didn’t you? I’m guessing it was largely based on practical work, because your essays must have been dreadful.)

    The Tesco opening will not contribute to the regeneration of the area, and the profits made from the store will disappear (via a series of off-shore shell companies designed to minimise UK tax liabilities – see Private Eye for details) to shareholders pockets. Quite how you envisage that this will benefit the people of Stokes Croft is beyond me, and you have offered nothing but CAPS LOCK to support your position.

    So, frankly, you are boring me – I’m interested in discussing things with people who force me to *think*, not with people who just make me think ‘This blokes a blinkered, right-wing, reductive idiot’. Either offer something of substance, or withdraw.

    (Oh, and as we started with spelling mistakes, the ‘a’ before ‘understatement’ in your last comment should be ‘an’. Once again, must try harder.)

  12. Thanks for your comments James and your constructive tone – it’s great to be able to thrash this out between all of us in the community.

    I hear your concerns about squatting, but I think it’s really important to discriminate between those who are simply after a free place to live and those who are peacefully taking a political stand.

    Contrary to the media’s portrayal, vast numbers of squatters are incredible people choosing to live precariously to take a stand for what they believe in. In this particular case they are working hard to use the space to benefit the local community and delay the process of Tesco opening up despite the community’s objections.

    The men and women occupying the Jesters building are some of the most beautiful and gentle people I have ever met and their commitment to being of benefit is humbling. They are running regular activities for the local community from english lessons to music, poetry and film nights, community meals and even community bingo with donations from local shops.

    With respect to Tesco being the only option for the area, because no other business will come in: it is imperative that we resist this attitude.This is exactly what Tesco and corporations more generally, want us to believe. That There is No Alternative. But there is and we are starting to develop plans around how to attract alternative investment that will actually benefit the local community.

    The strength of our campaign lies in our vision for the future. It is not enough to shout about what we don’t want – that’s the easy bit.

    Despite what Dave seems to think, this is not a reactionary student campaign getting high on a bit of short lived corporate bashing. This is a serious attempt to save our community from a real injustice and capitalise on this mobilisation of the community to bring together all our energy, ideas and enthusiasm to create a community that serves us all.

    Tesco will wipe out local businesses and ensure that others can’t set up, it will drain money from the local economy sending its profits to remote shareholders, it will bombard us with cheap offers on heavily processed foods high in salt, sugar and fat – and if that was not enough it will continue to put our collective futures at risk by seriously contributing to climate change and the depletion of scarce natural resources.

    Again, thank you for your comments – we genuinely want to hear what everyone thinks and are well aware that there are people in the community who do want a Tesco. However, as more and more surveys hit our doorstep, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the vast majority of Stokes Croft don’t want a Tesco.

    Looking forward to constructive feedback 🙂

  13. Claire, words fail me, your piece is exactly the sort of middle class idealistic student clap-trap that I’ve been pointing out to people for ages. So, Tesco cause climate change do they? And drain money from the local economy? I’d love to see these ‘plans’ of yours for ‘alternative investment’. Pin ’em up on lamp posts like the council do, and all the grown ups in the area can have a good laugh! You’re a mushroom Claire, kept in the dark and fed sh*t. Green propaganda, pure and simple. Either that, or your tutor is filling your barely formed brain up with cliche leftist nonsense. I actually thought that having a local store like this would stop people jumping in their cars and driving further afield, thereby causing what the University of East Anglia calls man made climate change.

    Also, these ‘lovely sensitive’ squatters you describe are actually a nuisance and breach of the peace, which is why the police have to visit them. Boring typical students with boring student views (the ones who aren’t students are just sad with no future). Blaring out music from speakers on the outside of the building at all hours is actually pretty anti-social when neighbours have to WORK for a living.

    But don’t you worry Claire, as I said earlier, you and your student chums enjoy your silly little student politics and ‘film nights’. I can guarantee you that you and your stoner mates don’t represent the community, you don’t pay council tax and just make the area sound and look worse than it already is. Your contribution is exactly zero. We’ll all be standing by smiling the day you’re all kicked out to let work commence on the store. Tesco will be there for years, long after you and your mates have forgotten about Stokes Croft and moved on to your careers in the real world.

    And another thing, in ten years time when you and your partner settle down in to some nice little inner city apartment and you’re up the duff, you’ll be PRAYING for a Tesco nearby you naive idiot.

    Grow up, take a copy of that drivel you posted, you’ll piss yourself laughing at it over a dinner party in years to come. You’ll also be thankful that you haven’t got student squatters for neighbours , as you crack open the bubbly.

    Honest, I was a student once also Claire……and if it wasn’t climate change or Tesco, it would have been the hole in the Ozone Layer or CND. Enjoy it while you have the time, real life awaits you.

  14. I’m guessing the reason nobody has replied to the last post is because they are speechless. No matter what your stance on the debate, Dave, there is absolutely NO call for that sort of vitriolic response. It’s not helpful and it’s not needed.

  15. Do you have shares in Tesco Dave?

  16. Having researched, studied and taught sustainability for 20 years in UK universities it is clear to me that a Tesco store would result in a net LOSS of jobs in the area, a reduction in cultural and social diversity and contribute to greater emissions.

    There has been inadequate consultation on this ‘change of use’.

    What can we do? My research into non-violent direct action demonstrates that ordinary people coming together CAN and DO make a difference!

    Work on every level works best this means, for example: letters, petitions, conversations within the community, with the Council etc AND direct action.

    Unleash the creative potential of community – what do you, I, we want? What actions can I take?

    I encourage everyone to get involved and support this campaign in everyway they can. Right now DIY skills are needed at the Squat, for example – all supportive, willing hands on deck!

  17. No, I don’t work for Tesco Emma. I’m just appalled at the self indulgent cliche students in the window of the former jesters. It’s like a set for ‘cliche student of the year 2010’, complete with book shelf containing books with anti-capitalist titles. Why don’t they all just wear Che Guevara outfits? It’s already beginning to look like a Citizen Smith convention.

    Also, do their mummies and daddies know that their student allowance is being spent like this? And will these kids be eating food bought by their parents at Tesco over the Easter holiday? I fear yes to the last point, but somehow feel these prats think they can deny the majority the luxury of a convenient supermarket which doesn’t require a car journey to go to. And we know what greens think of cars, don’t we?

    Unfortunately, whilst these people have an approximate 5% minority view, they’re very vocal because they have time on their hands.
    I also feel concerned that my council tax (that tax which squatters and students don’t pay) is paying for people like Larch to peddle his crap. I take comfort, however, that if he’s working currently then he may fall victim to the inevitable public sector cuts that will arise whoever wins the next election.

    What you all need to realize is that your views are ludicrous to most people, and that people walking past are using expressions like ‘student wankers’ and the like. You really are NOT the peoples heros of Stokes Croft, but just kids who don’t know shit from clay being manipulated by bitter old lefties.

    I know we’ve just had the coldest winter since 1963 and you need to protest indoors currently about global warming, but when’s the next Climate Camp you can all naff off to? Grow up, the lot of you.

  18. Dave,

    You seem very angry; are you sure my comment before about you being frustrated and unhappy somewhere deep down inside wasn’t correct?

    You seem to take great pleasure in throwing pointless insults around, (and hypocritically use ‘student’ as a pejorative despite having been one yourself), yet you are less able to answer simple questions.

    A couple of posts up-thread I asked you to explain how the opening of a multi-national supermarket will lead to the regeneration of an area (as you had stated will happen), and to provide some evidence to back up your claim – you seemed very sure of your position, so I assumed you actually *had* some evidence, and weren’t just spouting off.

    Your silence in response is very telling.

    I understand that parroting ideas implanted in you by unquestioning consumption of the right-wing press is i) easy and ii) makes you feel like some mighty truth-teller, but your comments so far are just banal and your thinking lacks rigour.

    Time to put up or shut up, I think, because you are just starting to embarrass yourself now.

    (Oh, and ‘peoples heros’ above should be ‘peoples heroes’. If you are going to insist on typing like a hyperactive child whilst insulting people, please try harder.)

  19. Minority Green views……so much propaganda.

  20. Come on, Dave – enlighten and educate me.

    It’s clear your ego is so rampant that you think you know better than everyone else, so prove your point. Give me some evidence, something to get my teeth into, something to challenge the evidence I *have* read about the damaging nature of the supermarket chains. You are on the internet – the total sum of human knowledge is available to you, yet you cannot answer a simple question?

    Whatever you do, don’t just retreat into hollow mumbling, because that makes it look like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Oh, wait…

  21. Just how many of these students are compromising their grades and degrees on this nonsense? I notice the ringleaders have clearly got nothing to lose with regards to their futures. Left to them it would ideally look like the Beirut Building down the road. If it’s not to become a Tesco and ends up as something else, when you walk past it on your final day as a student will the compromised grade have been worth it? Really?

    And I know what I’m talking about.

  22. “And I know what I’m talking about.”

    Oh dear.

    This would almost be funny, if it wasn’t fuelled by such unfocussed vitriol.

    One more time, a simple question:

    How does opening a supermarket lead to the regeneration of an area?

    If you know what you’re talking about then a simple answer will be easy for you.

  23. Scary stuff !!!
    I oppose the opening of a Tescos on Stokes Croft.
    I do not claim to speak for the majority in Stokes Croft. There is nobody amongst my friends, neighbours, acquaintances that I know who welcomes this Tesco store.

    The junkies, drunks,middle class leggys
    20 year olds, students, communists, the unemployed, squatters, prostitutes, graffiti artists, quaint middle class hippies, idiots, anti-capitalists, mushrooms,silly student chums,kids who don’t know shit are all my neighbours

    I love my neighbourhood, I have hated it in the past, and have learnt to love it once again and do all I can to make it liveable and loveable.

    I support the action taken by the squatters, and see them as a positive contribution to the area.

  24. Here you go Ben, and it’s from a socialist.

    How can you NOT understand this?

  25. Dave, is that the best you can do? Using a government minister as your source of impartial information? I’m sure if you look a bit harder, there would be a Tesco press release to reinforce that too.

  26. Oh, Dave. I bet it took you ages to find that.

    Thanks for the effort though (although you did lazily slip back into CAPS LOCK at the end as an alternative for thinking).

    Where to start…

    First up, to describe a washed-out managerialist like Benn as a ‘socialist’ just shows how debased the use of political labels has become, and how skewed your view of the world is.

    Secondly, you have spent this thread telling us that the opinions of socialists and greens are worthless – yet you then cite the opinion of a ‘socialist’ to support your position. Your message here seems to be fatally mixed.

    Thirdly, opinion is all that the article contains – it is not research, a review of evidence, or anything of any real substance.

    Fourthly, most of the article talks about encouraging home delivery services in order to reduce car use – Tesco Stokes Croft will not be offering home delivery services (as this is done from the Eastville store) so I fail to see the relevance to our discussion.

    Fifthly, the single paragraph of the article that does talk about regeneration does *not* deal with an equivalent situation. Lincoln Green was/is an area without access to supermarkets for miles around, with little or no community activity, whereas in the situation we are discussing there is *already* one Tesco store less than 700 metres from the proposed new one, and another *huge* store 1 mile away. To attempt to compare the two situations is therefore meaningless.

    And finally, even if we ignore the above, the Lincoln Green area is still in the bottom 3% nationally in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation *ten years* after the article you cite, which would suggest that as an agent of regeneration the supermarket has had little or no impact.

    Do you fancy another try or shall we just leave it there?

  27. I live in Essex near Upminster and we had this exact thing about two years ago when a Tesco store moved into our town. Exactly the same process, nobody knew anything about it until Tesco virtually started building the thing. We were all told that it would be good for the local economy, jobs and the rest.

    Our local council just decided we were going to have it. No consultation, nothing.

    Two years on there are no benefits to having this store whatsoever. Our local village shop has now closed down, 4 jobs gone, we have no choice but to buy what this little Tesco offers and now they are talking about shutting it down. If they do we have no local shop at all. We’ll have to drive into town for what we want and that means extra petrol or bus fare.

    I don’t know anything about Bristol where you are but if our experience is anything to go by those who say its good for you are talking balls. They don’t know what they are talking about. It never works out that way in reality.

    Hopefully the original shop we used to use will find a way to open again and we’ll be back to square one. Thats before all the building works, closed roads and noise that it took to build the Tesco store. Even when it was open it was rubbish.

    Just think long and hard about this, thats all im saying. And don’t go thinking that this store they want to build for you will push your house price up. Thats never going to happen!


  28. Its lunatics like Dave that make these message/discussion boards worth reading!

    “you are a mushroom…”


  29. It could be the very Dave that has got his own cable TV channel, full 0f 24/7 Clarkson. Nice to make your acquaintance mate.


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