Dear Mary Mears,
You will be aware that large numbers of citizens of Brighton and Hove are disturbed at the seemingly unstoppable war between the large supermarket chains who, in attempting to outdo each other for market saturation, are gradually altering the character of our unique city.
We are aware that you have spoken out publicly on this matter, that Council has very limited powers under planning law to resist this insidious trend, and that what needs to change is the law at national level which favours the large corporations and prejudices the interests of local people everywhere.
We are taking the campaign to resist this invasion to another level, stimulated by both recent successes and failures and the on-going public opposition to a fourth supermarket on the corner of St James Street, and we want your active support and facilitation.
We are asking Brighton and Hove City Council to agree to put direct pressure on the Department of Communities and Local Government via the Minister the Rt Hon Eric Pickles. We know that you and members of the Cabinet have the ear of the Minister. We are asking you to persuade the government to act on Big Society and Localism by changing the law, and soon, so that the local community can have the democratic right to determine the shape, growth and future of our City. We wish to see transparency, local accountability and real local decision making given back to the people of this and every other town, city, village and rural area.
We also understand that under the direction of the new Chief Executive Officer of the Council, John Barradell, and the 4 Strategic Directors of Place, People, Communities and Resources there is already a gradual change of culture within Council to encourage citizens and innovators to co-produce and design the services of our City.
We are asking that this enlightened inclusiveness be extended to the area of planning by urging the national government to act, and by involving your Cabinet and officers with local innovators and activists and of course our fellow citizens in a movement that can only bring credit to our vibrant and forward thinking city. We need your assistance and support to effect such change. Will you help us?