Saturday 6 October 2012

Supermarket row as seen by the Carmarthen Journal and County Hall

One swallow doesn't make a summer, and the Carmarthen Journal's recent warts and all report on the county council's debate on the case of Mr M sadly appears to have been an isolated case of good journalism.

We are back to normal this week with two reports on the row over Sainsbury's plans for a supermarket in Llandeilo. First up we have a report from a roving reporter who spoke to a few people in the town to gather local opinion. And, guess what? Some people are against it, some are for, and some are not so sure.

One woman interviewed is reported as saying, "there are a lot of unemployed people here and there are a lot of mums here to". Did she really make elementary spelling mistakes while she was speaking?

Another woman is identified as coming from somewhere called Ffawrfach.

The average 8 year-old could have done a better job.

Next we have one of those contrived stories clearly set up by the council and the paper.

"Jobs under threat because of supermarket delays," yells the headline over a large picture of a glum-looking council leader Kevin Madge standing next to Labour councillor Kim Thomas and a handful of unidentified individuals.

The snap was apparently taken outside a former Kwik Save store in Llannon, which the paper says is 8 miles from "a supermarket development". According to the AA, Llannon is 3.4 miles from Cross Hands and 12 miles from Llandeilo. Take your pick, but you would at least expect from a local paper that (a) it can spell local place names correctly, and (b) know the geography of its area.

The paper says that "following opposition to the Llandeilo development, both projects will now be referred to the Welsh Government".

This is completely misleading, of course. Yes, there is opposition to the proposed store in Llandeilo, and very few have objected to the proposals for Cross Hands, but the Welsh Government called both plans in not because of any opposition, but because it felt that the County Council's planning committee had not given proper consideration to the proposals before approving them.

No mention is made of that, of course.

The resulting article bears all the hallmarks of another County Hall Ministry of Spin production, as dictated to the Carmarthen Journal.


Anonymous said...

Local shops help the community a LOT more than these big supermarkets -A figure often quoted is that something like 25p in every pound leaves the area when you buy from a local shop (as the goods come from outside the area) whilst 25p in the pound stays when you buy from a major supermarket chain.
I'm sure Sainsburys PR people will quote dozens of jobs, blah blah but ofcourse never mention all those jobs lost because of this shop

Anonymous said...

Could it possibly be that the Journal have had another sharp rap over the knuckles by our Chief?

a2 said...

i'm suprised that kwiksave sign is still up.
erm, since when is there going to be a new crosshands workingmens club? i don't see that on the plans.

if the section 106 money exeeds the planning, even sainsbury isn't a bottomless pit.

Slightly baffling why llanon is getting involved. A bit similar if manordeilo or derwydd was pushing for sainsbury.

Sounds like a work expreience was on it.

Someone ought to ask that llanon councillor how would she react if the co-op closed down. doubt if she'd hold her head in despair as long as they get a new doctors everything is hunky dory.

As for llandeilo, it won't bring in anybody new as such. where are they going to come from. All it would be doing is stopping the 23% from going to carmarthen - or most of them at least. Possibly some people are going to travel 13 miles from llandovery plus the manordeilo/llangadog folk.

weird isn't it, open a store in llandeilo and it closes the one 13 miles away.

If 50% of llandovery folk including pensioners, people who aren't working, lack of transport rely on the co-op even if they are a bit pricey, how on earth are they going to manage if their's closes down.

i'm all for people saving some money but not this way.. pity planning doesn't take social responsibility into account. that is always lacking when money and power is floating about.

what can labour do to lobby a faster outcome? a minute always is 60 seconds, they can't make a clock tick faster. If they have anyone to blame, i suggest they take a look at their own council