Supermarket row escalates

THE row over supermarket plans for the Barnkirk area of Newton Stewart intensified this week with objectors calling some supporters who are using Facebook to make their points “idiots”.

With opinion still split over the plans for a store of a similar scale to Tesco in Castle Douglas, though with no named operator yet, both supporters and objectors have taken to websites and letter-writing to The Galloway Gazette to get air their views.

And in the comments section on www.gallowaygazette.com, some have been thrashing it out with both light-hearted banter and personal comments.

A user calling himself or herself DT015 said: “The town will never be the same again, there will be so much bad feeling – caused, I must stress, mainly by the idiots on Facebook who obviously have their own agenda and are getting personal.”

Another user under the name slaver15 said in reference to the support shown on Facebook for the plans: “I would be interested to know who the internet supporters of this scheme really are. It is well known that would-be developers log on to these websites (FB etc) using multiple aliases. I’m astonished at the logic of the townspeople who support this scheme. I am also astonished that the council is even considering it.

“I have a family member in business in the town. However, his business is unlikely to be affected by this development.”

But dg8 replied to say the Facebook comments were from real people and added that his/her complaint was about the “stick-their-head-in-the-sand attitude” of the traders.

The post continued, referring to the monopoly held currently by traders in the town and the lack of acceptance of new ventures: “It is the traders who hold the key to the future of the street. If they were to diversify and supply the services the customers need at a decent price, then the customer will not need to go to any new supermarket. My gripe has to do with the attitude of local traders and their contempt for the locals. Why should this minority group dictate who should and shouldn’t open a business in Newton Stewart? It’s this arrogance of thinking they are above us locals that angers me.”

Correspondence to the Gazette from Martin MacLaughlin asked why local businesses couldn’t adapt to provide a better service. It said: “Shops should try to offer a better level of customer service. If they valued customers, they would stay open later in the evenings for those of us who work out of town from 9-6 and they wouldn’t close on a Wednesday afternoon. Friends who visit find this astounding. How nice to think I could finish work and nip to a supermarket for fresh meat or bread.”

Letters page 18