Tesco, the unwitting purveyors of horse meat with a long-time reputation for doing things on the cheap, and now the proud owners of an “express” store in a South Croydon landmark pub despite local opposition have “generously” agreed to sponsor this year’s South Croydon Food Festival, for the grand sum of
In October, Tesco reported half-year profits of
Every little bit helps?
The cut-price South Croydon sponsorship deal has been brokered by White Label, the PR consultants hired by Croydon Council, and paid for in part at least out of riot recovery money. Because White Label, unelected and unaccountable, is not a public body, how they spend public money is not subject to the rules of the Freedom of Information Act. Conveniently.
But Inside Croydon has seen an email from a White Label staffer Rosanna Farrar, dated February 27, which reveals that Tesco is paying just one-third of what was being sought as a sponsorship fee for the event.
It hardly provides much confidence in White Label’s abilities for negotiating commercial deals as part of their brief for Croydon.
The email says,
“I am happy to confirm that Tesco have agreed to sponsor the Food Festival to the tune of £2,000 with the possibility of up to £500 more in in-kind support, for example, they have discussed the possibility of providing food for performers/volunteers and/or possibly being able to provide volunteers from their employees on the day.
“It has been a long-winded and involved process and although Liz (at Tesco) and I were hoping that the committee who make the decisions re. funding would opt for the £6,000 sponsorship of the main stage, I still think this is extremely positive. They have been very clear that this is the maximum amount they can give us.
“They are very keen to keep in touch regarding our progress with securing further sponsors and hope that this will set the ball rolling with other financial support from local businesses.”
Local gossip suggests that since the Whitgift Foundation leased the Swan and Sugarloaf pub to Tesco last year, the Express store on the junction of the Brighton Road and Selsdon Road is taking weekly sales of
Meanwhile, residents and established traders complain of problems with traffic congestion at the busy junction every morning and evening as Tesco customers access and exit the car park there.
And the local traders’ businesses are feeling the impact of having yet another Tesco store on their doorstep, too. “It all adds up to much more than a couple of grand,” said one disgruntled shop-owner from what White Label has misguidedly re-labelled as “Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter”.
The parking issue is becoming a real sore point for the longer established traders in the area, since Croydon Council has stubbornly refused to provide any 30-minute free parking bays, as are available elsewhere in the borough, thus creating another anti-social yet serious commercial advantage for their mates at Tesco.
Every little helps, eh?
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