I’M SURPRISED there appears to be unthinking acceptance by the local council and others that a new Morrisons will bring 300 jobs to Eastbourne.
Unless we are all going to consume yet more food it is obvious there will be jobs lost elsewhere.
The other major supermarkets will reduce the numbers of staff employed, such as shelf-stackers, if their sales fall by, say, 10 or 20 per cent, while convenience stores will be squeezed out and close.
This will add to the further alarming number of empty shops in Eastbourne.
A quick survey shows in the central area there are now 87 vacant premises in the following places: Terminus Road/Gildredge Road/Station Parade, 24, Arndale Centre, seven, Cornfield Road, three, Langney Road, three, Little Chelsea and South Street, 11, Seaside Road and Seaside (east to Whitley Road), 39.
If each of these businesses employed an average of two people, their closure would have resulted in 174 job losses.
Their loss has also reduced the variety of shops as individual retailers are replaced by national chains.
Furthermore, the chains’ profits are not retained locally to benefit the town’s economy but flow to headquarters based elsewhere - in Morrisons’ case, Yorkshire.
The only way new additional jobs can be created locally is by new businesses in Eastbourne which sell goods and services to the rest of the country or abroad, for example offices or insurance companies or other financial organisations, or manufacturers.
The other reason to be concerned about a new supermarket near the outskirts of Eastbourne is that it will encourage yet more car use.
With the 443 car spaces occupied by, say, four customers each day that will generate over 3,500 additional vehicle movements in and out the site and along local roads.
How does this square with the Lib Dems stated views that out-of-town shopping developments replace local facilities and further contribute to the unsustainable car and lorry-based economy.