Debate rages on over the need for new supermarket

23/7/09- Budgens, Rye'Photo by Steve Hunnisett
23/7/09- Budgens, Rye'Photo by Steve Hunnisett

As Sainsbury’s and Tesco pull out of Rye the question of whether Rye needs another supermarket still remains a burning issue.

People spoke out for and against the idea in a lively social media debate on the Rye Observer Facebook page this week.

Many comments supported Rother Council data that people travel outside Rye for their weekly shop.

There were people for and against Rye having Jempsons as its only supermarket and some called for more people to support Rye’s small independent shops.

Natalie McPhail said: “Jempsons is overpriced and doesn’t open on Sundays. Is it really acceptable to do a 20mile round trip to get a decent bag of shopping?”

Tracy Knight commented: “An Aldi or Lidl would be good.”

Michelle Playford said: “I travel to Ashford or Hastings to do my supermarket shop so while I am over there I get my petrol and anything else I need rather than shop in Rye.”

Dawn Archer commented: “I’m fed up of travelling a round trip of 24 miles to Hastings and back Hawkhurst is a smaller village with Budgens and Tesco and they both survive.”

Jessica Neame said: As a trader in the town I believe desperately need a decent supermarket. Currently shoppers avoid Rye and do all their shopping elsewhere because they can’t do the bulk of their food shopping in the town.

“The independent shops will always do what they do best, and better than the supermarkets. But the majority of us do our bulk food shopping at the supermarket, and would be spared the frustration of having to drive to another town to do this.

“I work in Rye and live in Wittersham. I waste precious time and petrol driving past my front door on my way home to go to Tescos in Tenterden, just to be able to buy food of a reasonable quality at a price I can afford.

But not everyone felt the same. Paul Dengate said: “Why does every body want to do shopping on a Sunday ? Supermarket opens 14 hours a day, six days a week. Have a day off on Sunday and chill.”

Barrett Hollands said: “It is very sad to see the fact that every one wants to ruin a historic picturesque town and many small local businesses just to save themselves a pound coin.”

Marie Williams said: “We have been trading in Rye for thirty one years. If Tesco or Sainsbury’s comes to Rye, I’m certain it would be the end of our shop.

“Customers come to us for personal service, likewise with the butcher next door and all the other small shops in Rye.

“ Jempsons are also a family business, and have the right to close on a Sunday, if they wish to do so.

“Everyone deserves to have time off. For those people that think a new supermarket would create more jobs in the town, have a thought for all those small shops that would be closing their doors forever.”