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Letter to the editor: petition launched against proposed Starbucks site

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Dear Editor

I wanted to write about the proposed opening of a large Starbucks store by Five Valleys Shopping Centre in the old Poundland site.

I have started a petition to combat this move which will have a negative impact on all independent café owners in Stroud as well as corrode Stroud’s independent spirit which is the main draw to all visitors to this unique town. The petition has been live for a short time and it has already received multiple signatures with comments such as: “There are so many town centres devoid of any life or character as they fill up with chains and then gradually people stop coming. Don’t let this happen to Stroud.”

My reason for starting this petition is the same as those who are signing it. To Stroud residents, the appeal of living here is down to the thriving independent community. Chains diminish this appeal as can be seen in market towns across the country. In my opinion, this chain is particularly at odds with Stroud’s environmentally conscious character.

There is a history of other independent- loving towns such as Totnes, Devon (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/oct/28/totnes-costa-coffee-high-street) successfully combatting similar chains and the best route to this is community activation.

Please see the petition here: https://chng.it/JMGrXZqb

Local residents will be distributing QR codes to businesses and shoppers this Saturday, August 13th during the Saturday farmer’s market to spread the scope of this petition further.

Please get in touch for further information and share the petition with your networks.

Chloe Fairbrother

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