BAAD campaigner Amit Patel advised on fighting off supermarket plans by "major competitor"

News Shopper: BAAD campaigner Amit Patel (third from right) was told to tell councillors a "sob story" BAAD campaigner Amit Patel (third from right) was told to tell councillors a "sob story"

SECRETIVE advice was offered to a campaigner trying to prevent Asda coming to Belvedere by one of the supermarket's "major competitors".

The driving force of the Belvedere Against Asda Development Campaign (BAAD), Amit Patel, was in contact with the rival days before he spoke at Bexley Council’s planning committee on February 2 urging councillors to reject plans for Asda to take over half of the B&Q store off Lower Road.

BAAD campaigned against the plans for several months and helped to attract 375 letters and a petition of 409 signatures in opposition.

Asda claimed its research showed 90 per cent of people supported the scheme.

The intervention of the mystery contact - who Mr Patel refused to name - came "one or two days" before the council meeting.

Mr Patel, who owns Belvedere News, Food and Wine in Gilbert Road said he was handed a "name and contact number" which he rang.

He told trade magazine Convenience Store that the person on the end of the line instructed him to tell the planning committee a "sob story".

When News Shopper asked about the call, Mr Patel confirmed what was printed in Convenience Store and said "not much" else was discussed.

He declined to elaborate besides stating the conversation was "beneficial to both of us".

The 35-year-old said: "The rest of the conversation was confidential between myself and the other party."

He added: "At this stage I do not want to put out into the public domain until everything has gone through effectively."

Council officers recommended the plans were approved but councillors chose to reject them.

In line with the council’s procedures, the decision will be re-debated at another planning meeting.

The "sob story"?

On February 2, Mr Patel told the planning committee: "Traders up and down the country are being forced out by supermarkets. We simply cannot beat them on price.

"The shops in Lower Belvedere are struggling as it is.

"If ASDA opens, a number of shops will be forced to close.

"Shoppers may not want to visit the ones that remain open. How long will they remain open?

"ASDA will create jobs but for how long?

"Years ago a job was for life, sadly this is no longer the case.

"The question you should be asking yourself is how many jobs will be lost and how many livelihoods will be lost?

"It has taken a lifetime to build our community which we are proud of. You have the power to protect it."

Comments (10)

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1:51pm Fri 24 Feb 12

toffeeapple says...

I'm a local and I am in agreement with Asda - 90% of locals WANT this Asda and were stunned when it was refused permission. Those of us that live local have to travel to Morrison's in either Thamesmead orErith to do our shopping, I simply cannot afford to shop at the small local stores, I wish I could but in these difficult financial times no one can afford to shop at that little row of shops in Belvedere.

I have spoken to MANY neighbours and Friends and we all wanted this Asda. I simply do not understand the reasons for refusal.

I bet if you surveyed all RESIDENTS in a 1 mile radius the Asda fisures of 90% would be accurate.

And on the point about jobs lost - Asda will create more than will be lost.

WE NEED THIS ASDA HERE!
I'm a local and I am in agreement with Asda - 90% of locals WANT this Asda and were stunned when it was refused permission. Those of us that live local have to travel to Morrison's in either Thamesmead orErith to do our shopping, I simply cannot afford to shop at the small local stores, I wish I could but in these difficult financial times no one can afford to shop at that little row of shops in Belvedere. I have spoken to MANY neighbours and Friends and we all wanted this Asda. I simply do not understand the reasons for refusal. I bet if you surveyed all RESIDENTS in a 1 mile radius the Asda fisures of 90% would be accurate. And on the point about jobs lost - Asda will create more than will be lost. WE NEED THIS ASDA HERE! toffeeapple

2:02pm Fri 24 Feb 12

CityWorker1 says...

Sounds like a case of industrial sabotage. This person and the supermarket they work for should be named, the sneaky getts!
Sounds like a case of industrial sabotage. This person and the supermarket they work for should be named, the sneaky getts! CityWorker1

2:06pm Fri 24 Feb 12

alpcur says...

Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused.
Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time.
Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA.
Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket.
Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission!
Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused. Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time. Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA. Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket. Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission! alpcur

2:07pm Fri 24 Feb 12

Tamb71 says...

I couldn't believe this once my husband told me about this. I am so annoyed that the council could refuse this, it is a great opportunity for more jobs being created for the unemployed around the area. Also that we have more and more houses being built around the area, where will they shop. I do not think it will take away the business from the other shops, we all still like the off-licence, newsagents and local bakery, also I don't think the tesco would loose out, cause people would still buy there. We just need ASDA around the area to boost business rather than loosing it. I know a lot of people are gutted to see it is not going ahead.
I couldn't believe this once my husband told me about this. I am so annoyed that the council could refuse this, it is a great opportunity for more jobs being created for the unemployed around the area. Also that we have more and more houses being built around the area, where will they shop. I do not think it will take away the business from the other shops, we all still like the off-licence, newsagents and local bakery, also I don't think the tesco would loose out, cause people would still buy there. We just need ASDA around the area to boost business rather than loosing it. I know a lot of people are gutted to see it is not going ahead. Tamb71

2:45pm Fri 24 Feb 12

PaulErith says...

alpcur wrote:
Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused. Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time. Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA. Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket. Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission!
Nor really sure it's fair to say Mr Patel should be ashamed of himself. Ok, it's the way of the World that the big supermarkets are putting the smaller companies out of business. But you can't blame this guy for doing all he can to protect his shop. Most people would do the same, and fair play to him for taking on a giant and winning.
[quote][p][bold]alpcur[/bold] wrote: Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused. Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time. Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA. Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket. Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission![/p][/quote]Nor really sure it's fair to say Mr Patel should be ashamed of himself. Ok, it's the way of the World that the big supermarkets are putting the smaller companies out of business. But you can't blame this guy for doing all he can to protect his shop. Most people would do the same, and fair play to him for taking on a giant and winning. PaulErith

2:51pm Fri 24 Feb 12

alpcur says...

PaulErith wrote:
alpcur wrote:
Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused. Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time. Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA. Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket. Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission!
Nor really sure it's fair to say Mr Patel should be ashamed of himself. Ok, it's the way of the World that the big supermarkets are putting the smaller companies out of business. But you can't blame this guy for doing all he can to protect his shop. Most people would do the same, and fair play to him for taking on a giant and winning.
Paul, my point is, surely, everyone could use some kind of sob story to get there own way? By using one, he has effectively kept a large amount of people out of employment.
One of the most complained about issues is paying tax for people to be on Job Seekers Allowance. I don't suppose he's going to recruit a large amount of people to work in his shop.
[quote][p][bold]PaulErith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alpcur[/bold] wrote: Totally agree with the previous comment, I am also a local resident and to be quite honest am **** right furious that the plans have been refused. Mr Patel, you should be ashamed of yourself with your "sob story". Independent newsagents tend not to hire anyone, as I have noticed there only seems to be 2 or 3 people working at any given time. Think about all the people (approx 300) who will gain employment from working in ASDA. Another point being, people cannot afford newsagent prices, anything which is purchased from you could probably be bought for half the price in a supermarket. Also, Bexley Council, i'm actually quite ashamed to be living in a borough which uses such a poor excuse to refuse planning permission![/p][/quote]Nor really sure it's fair to say Mr Patel should be ashamed of himself. Ok, it's the way of the World that the big supermarkets are putting the smaller companies out of business. But you can't blame this guy for doing all he can to protect his shop. Most people would do the same, and fair play to him for taking on a giant and winning.[/p][/quote]Paul, my point is, surely, everyone could use some kind of sob story to get there own way? By using one, he has effectively kept a large amount of people out of employment. One of the most complained about issues is paying tax for people to be on Job Seekers Allowance. I don't suppose he's going to recruit a large amount of people to work in his shop. alpcur

6:58pm Fri 24 Feb 12

DonnaTxx says...

Let nobody fool themselves here. Mr Patel has only got Mr Patels best interests at heart, end of story. He couldn't give a crap about the locals, he's got you by the short hairs and he knows it.
Let nobody fool themselves here. Mr Patel has only got Mr Patels best interests at heart, end of story. He couldn't give a crap about the locals, he's got you by the short hairs and he knows it. DonnaTxx

9:49pm Fri 24 Feb 12

goldenbroomboy says...

So Amit Patel was given some assistance by another interested party? What is the problem with that, surely "he who is the enemy of my enemy is my friend"?

As for Bexley Council's ruling faction, they have a "white van man" mentality, and accordingly they will support small businesses against large corporations.
So Amit Patel was given some assistance by another interested party? What is the problem with that, surely "he who is the enemy of my enemy is my friend"? As for Bexley Council's ruling faction, they have a "white van man" mentality, and accordingly they will support small businesses against large corporations. goldenbroomboy

12:13am Fri 2 Mar 12

Outandabout says...

The reason supermarkets act like they do is because of the power they wield. A supermarket can break a farmer simply by refusing to take their crop. they beat suppliers proces down and a recent survery showed that we the consumer are continually misled by supermarkets about prices. They hike a price up, then lower it and claim it is reduced when in fact it is higher than when it was hiked up. I'm glad ASDA lost out, they are owned by Wallmart who have blighted towns all over the USA turning them into ghosts towns. The council needs to encourage independant traders so that we don't have cloned high streets and towns. the council can do this by looking at their policy of charges to small businesses. We need competition between retailers, not huge stores that kill the individuality of a town.
The reason supermarkets act like they do is because of the power they wield. A supermarket can break a farmer simply by refusing to take their crop. they beat suppliers proces down and a recent survery showed that we the consumer are continually misled by supermarkets about prices. They hike a price up, then lower it and claim it is reduced when in fact it is higher than when it was hiked up. I'm glad ASDA lost out, they are owned by Wallmart who have blighted towns all over the USA turning them into ghosts towns. The council needs to encourage independant traders so that we don't have cloned high streets and towns. the council can do this by looking at their policy of charges to small businesses. We need competition between retailers, not huge stores that kill the individuality of a town. Outandabout

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