Local residents in Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston have started a community campaign to lobby the local Co-operative food stores to offer better offers and food options in addition to regular customer feedback sessions.
Local residents met with Labour's parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West Darren Jones at the Tithe Barn in Shirehampton recently to discuss what change they would like to see at the Co-operative. The meeting concluded:
1 - Better offers to allow families to combine different foods in order to cook healthy family meals at lower cost;
2 - An increased choice in food types, the frequency of replenishment and an increased range in portion sizes; and
3 - A commitment to a regular customer feedback group and local residents survey to give local people the opportunity to feedback to the Co-operative on their customer experience.
These "asks" were presented to the Co-operative management in the form of a Christmas Card with the campaign group planning a petition and open public meetings with the Co-operative management in the New Year.
Commenting on the campaign, Darren Jones said:
"I've been hearing concerns from local residents in Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth and Sea Mills about the choice of local shops and the stock and service in existing shops for quite some time. Local supermarkets are here to serve local residents and, at a time when many families and older people are struggling with the cost of living, it's vital that local businesses work with residents to get the best deal for everyone involved."
Darren commented further:
"Some have called for the introduction of new supermarkets. I'm not against this idea - increased competition on our high streets will no doubt lead to better prices and offers - but it's naive to look at a high street in isolation. What happens in Shirehampton or Lawrence Weston will affect the entire area and not just any given one high street. If we want to get the best deal for local people we need to be pragmatic and take a business approach to inviting the best type of supermarket to the best location for local people. In the meantime I'm working with local residents to tackle the cost of living now."