Beware ASDA Trojan Horse

PUBLISHED: 15:48 08 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 10 June 2010

The Asda Wal-Mart Trojan Horse is now fully armed and equipped and stands patiently outside Exmouth town gates awaiting its invitation to come inside. Its propaganda machine is fully operational and gearing up to full capacity. Before both town and dist

The Asda Wal-Mart Trojan Horse is now fully armed and equipped and stands patiently outside Exmouth town gates awaiting its invitation to come inside. Its propaganda machine is fully operational and gearing up to full capacity. Before both town and district councillors rush to welcome it in with open arms, they should carefully question each detail of every press release ASDA issues because they have a duty of responsibility to the electorate. Questions such as those below following the latest salvo.'350 extra jobs'. Are these full-time jobs? If not, what is the equivalent in full-time jobs? 'Plans to recruit up to 350 local people'. What are the actual planned numbers? How many of these jobs will be paid at the national minimum wage? Are all of these 350 jobs permanent?Welcoming the announcement, Exmouth's Deputy Mayor, Darryl Nichols, is quoted as saying: "These jobs will punch a hole in the town's unemployment figures." Has he taken into account the potential loss of jobs elsewhere, as other shops and service providers struggle to compete with this retail giant? Does he imagine that all currently unemployed people wish to work in the relatively low paid retail sector? Should he not have higher aspirations for the future of the town, especially since Rolle College is closing, but new attractions such as the cycle path have opened on the riverside?At the moment there are more questions than answers. The electorate is entitled to demand that their councillors use intelligence when considering what is a contentious development in almost every respect. Beware the Trojan Horse.Mrs Jean Pettit,51 Victoria Road, Exmouth.WE'RE SUPPORTING FAIRTRADE IDEAI would like to add the support of The Devon Juice Cafe to Exmouth becoming a fairtrade town. I attended the town council meeting, where Malcolm, Martin and Peter spoke to show our support along with Sue from b Natural who got us involved in the first place. It is a simple enough process and is a great way that we can show a town unity while supporting poorer communities worldwide. There are already a number of cafes and retailers who offer fairtrade products and there is every reason that other outlets in town should try to source fairtrade where possible. As a collective group of traders, we might not be able to influence what giant corporations do, but we can give our customers a choice to shop for locally sourced products where possible and, where that is not possible, we can try to source fairtrade. Mareike,The Devon Juice Cafe,41 The Strand, Exmouth.EXMOTHIANS WILL TAKE HER ON...REGARDING your recent article "Dog mess spoiling town".I have complete sympathy with Maurice Hillebrandt in his condemnation of Ms Randall Johnson, leader of East Devon District Council. Her first quote in the Exmouth Journal after the unfortunate Tory successes in the local elections last year showed her up for what she is - a petty party political animal, most interested in crowing at the defeat of the Lib Dems... no humility in success here! I attended a meeting in Sidmouth some weeks ago and saw her, and her Conservative minions, in action... it was not a pretty sight. They have an uncomfortable majority, and this has been reflected in the way they have steamrollered local Exmouth opinion with regard to the ASDA proposals. I have been fortunate to see the presentation put forward by ASM and am confident to put on record that some of the text and drawings are, in my opinion, inaccurate and misleading.Her deputy is on record (Exmouth Journal) after "the petition" of wanting to follow "the silent majority", a fiction invented by the disgraced US president Nixon. And as for Karime Hassan, as an employee of EDDC, he is responsible to EDDC councillors, and through them to the voters of East Devon. Ms Randall Johnson should know (if she bothers to read this paper) that there are a large number of Exmothians who will take her on at any level. She will find there are cannier and more intelligent citizens willing to give her and those who think they have power, an indication that, outside party politics, real democracy can exist - because it can never exist in party politics as it is currently structured.Mike Fairclough,(via email). BEATING BULLIESMany of your readers will be familiar with the issue of bullying in schools and the impact which it has on victims. School toilets are recognised as a hotspot for bullies. A recent survey from the UK Youth Parliament showed that 40 per cent of pupils feared the behaviour of other students in school toilets.Many people believe it is possible to "design out" bullying from school toilets. I have just written a free factsheet, which brings together the specialist knowledge which has been developed and helps schools to make the right decisions when planning new school toilets and washrooms.The factsheet - aimed at pupils, parents, teachers and governors - can be obtained by e-mailing: schooltoilets@wallgate.com or by writing to: "School Toilets" Factsheet, Wallgate Limited, Crow Lane, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 0HB.Jean Donovan, Author.

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