Local Man Says Co-Op Are Dragging Feet Over Store Issues

Co-Op's St Mary's store

A St Mary’s man who sent a letter to the Co-Op in August, complaining about lack of representation for the Islands, says he’s being fobbed off by their Regional Secretary.

Alan Davis wants a ring-fenced position for the islands on the Co-op’s consultative committee

He says it’s almost impossible for someone from here to get elected as a large proportion of the vote is within Cornwall and he doesn’t believe a mainland candidate can fully represent the islands’ views.

He also says the store should be remodelled to use their adjacent accommodation building for freight, which would reduce costs and he wants stock to be decided locally rather than by Co-op HQ in Manchester.

Alan said he received an initial response from Regional Secretary Andrew North saying that the Co-op Board in the southwest was set to discuss complaints and problems about their St Mary’s store in October.

But Alan says that date has passed with no meeting taking place and the Co-op is refusing to answer questions about when this may happen.

He says they appear to be “dragging their feet” over the issue.

We contacted the Co-op Public Relations Officer, Deborah Clarke, who sent a statement saying, “We are aware of the concerns raised by Mr Davis regarding our store in St Mary’s.

As we have informed him directly, both our membership team and our operations team for the Isles of Scilly are currently working together to look at ways of addressing the issues he raises, and the outcome of this will be communicated directly to Mr Davis as soon as possible.”

When pressed, Ms Clarke said she couldn’t give any further details.

Alan says with the recent loss of the butchers and bakers shop in Hugh Town, the Co-op has a virtual monopoly.

He says the islands deserve a response from the Co-op and feels that they have decided “we’re not justified a voice.”