Assurances over future of Northampton Tesco sought after loss of fish and meat counters
A former town MP has called on Tesco to assure shoppers that it does not intend to further reduce the offering at its Weston Favell store.
Five redundancies are due to be made at the large Tesco Extra when it shuts both its fresh meat and fish counters in the coming weeks.
The opening hours of the deli are also set to be reduced as part of a nationwide plan to cut £1.5 billion from Tesco's baseline costs.
The large Mere Way store in East Hunsbury, on the other hand, is not set to be affected by the cuts.
But former Labour housing minister Sally Keeble, who is running for the Northampton North parliamentary seat, is concerned the cutbacks at Weston Favell could be followed by more.
“When a big business like Tesco looks across its portfolio of shops, the Weston Favell store may look as if it’s not doing so well," she said.
"However, dig a bit deeper and you see a shop which is well-used and valued by the local community.
"There aren’t many services in the East of Northampton, which makes those at Tesco more important."
Mrs Keeble has written to the Tesco head office to seek assurances over its future.
The Weston Favell store, she says, is one of the largest employers in the area and acts as an anchor store at the shopping centre.
It also contains a Post Office and a Dorothy Perkins concession.
“I realise that you’re a business and have to ensure that the shop remains viable," she wrote in the letter to the Tesco bosses.
"However, this particular store plays a very special role in the community. Loss of services and goods on offer there would significantly impact local people.
"I see that you personally have a strong focus on the contribution that your business makes to local communities and its importance to the health of the local economy.
"It would be much appreciated if you could provide assurances on the future of the shop and the range of offers and services it provides which are so important to the local community.”
Tesco says there are no plans to close the Weston Favell store at present.
A company spokesman added: ‘We aim to provide our customers with excellent service and a great range of products in our Weston Favell store. We will continue to look for ways to provide the best possible offer.”