‘We must do everything we can to save Morrisons in Royston’
- Credit: Archant
Petitions started in a bid to save Morrisons from closure have each amassed around 1,000 signatures each as the community steps up to show strength of feeling in keeping the Royston town centre store.
Since the Crow broke the news of plans to close the Baldock Street supermarket last week, dozens of messages in support of supermarket and its staff have been sent in – and residents are now signing petitions in their droves to try to convince bosses to keep the store open.
David Brown has worked part-time at the store for two years.
The 60-year-old, who also teaches music and is a swimming instructor, told the Crow: “I’ve been brought up to fight for what I believe in. I don’t want anything for myself it’s for the people of Royston. We need a store here – the elderly people need a store they can get to on the buses.
“Staff have worked all through the coronavirus and all work as hard as they can, what’s great about it is the young and old all mix, staff talk to each other. The young help the older customers – there’s a real sense of community here.
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On Saturday David stood outside the store and got more than 600 signatures on his petition. He was also joined by town mayor, Councillor Rob Inwood.
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David said: “Rob does a lot for the town with the little time he has. The town centre is slowly dying, so I was grateful for Rob’s support.”
“I’m not surpised at how many names we got because people in the town desperately need a store there. At the moment it’s Morrisons and they provided a fantastic service for the locals. People say really nice things about staff working there and that kind of thing has been lost in society day-to-day.
When the Crow asked if David would want to be transferred to another store if the closure happened, he said “I want to put the people working there in front of me, because it’s their jobs and it’s important to them.
“Having this store is crucial to the local economy, and we must do everything we can to save it.”
Morrisons had said they were considering closure due to their lease being up no other viable option being found.
A Royston cafe manager has started her own petition against the closure, saying keeping the store would in-turn enable other businesses to keep customers.
Lisa Fulton – who runs Tasty Bites in Market Hill – said she wanted to start a petition to help staff and to show that Morrisons draws people into the town centre, which helps other businesses.
She told the Crow: “Hearing that Morrisons was closing was a massive shock to me. I felt so sorry for the staff that work there, after all the hard work they have had to deal with over the last couple of months especially, it must have been a real slap in the face.
“The next morning I got talking to some of the staff, they told me how they felt about it and how losing the store was going to kill the town, which I agreed with so I said I would start a petition for them.
“I honestly didn’t think it would have gone as well as it has, nearly 1,000 signatures in just one week. Reading some of the comments people have left really does show how important this store is for our high street.
“Owning a business in town, we rely on people to visit Royston to shop in our stores or have a coffee or some lunch in our independent cafes to try keep what’s left in the high street afloat.
“Most of my customer base at Tasty Bites Cafe use Morrisons as they find it very helpful with the bus stop being right outside and have said that it’s a nice size for them as they find other supermarkets too big to walk around. I feel that businesses are going to lose customers now if they won’t be able to do their food shop here. they may not need to come into royston anymore which will be a real shame for everyone.
“I have lived in Royston my whole life, I really do hope they reconsider and let Morrisons stay and that our high street thrives again like it use to.”
On the Crow’s Facebook page, Yvonne Mayoss said: “That’s terrible if it closes. I’m in my 70s and live in Ashwell so I come to Morrisons to do my shopping as I can get straight on a bus outside my home to save carrying it. So many other older people use it, my brother included who’s 92 and lives in Royston.
Helen Hayden said: “I always shop there such a shame the staff are so friendly and helpful it will be a sad day when it shuts. And I am sure some nice flats will be built there – another blow for the town of Royston.”
To view Lisa’s petition – which currently has more than 900 signatures – go to https://www.change.org/p/lease-holder-save-morrisons