POPULAR newspaper columnist Garry Bushell has thrown his support behind the campaign to bring Waitrose to Sidcup.

Gary, who lives in the town, is among 3,600 people to have signed the paper version of the petition, which calls on the supermarket to reverse its decision to pull out of opening on the Black Horse pub site.

With the online petition having passed 1,000 signatures, the campaign is close to reaching its target of 5,000 supporters, as set on June 14.

Bexley Councillor Linda Bailey said: “We’re really grateful for the support of the people who have backed the petition so far and we hope to reach 5,000 signatures before we present it to the Waitrose board next month.

“We’ve been working hard to improve the town centre and a brand like Waitrose offering something different from other retailers is just what we need.”

Councillors are hoping to collect the remaining signatures when they take the petition to the Talk Cafe tent at the Danson Festival this weekend (July 7 and 8).

The paper petition is available to sign in shops displaying the campaign poster and in Sidcup library, in Hadlow Road.

Alternatively, sign the online petition here.