Letter: Wal-Mart moves in

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I am amazed that you, a paper that champions environmental causes, should welcome Wal-Mart's take-over of Asda.

As a former district councillor, I know full well what this news will mean. Wal-Mart will not be content with the present number of Asda outlets. They will put all their vast financial clout and promotional tactics into pressurising local councils to give planning permission for even larger developments, eating up greenfield sites on the edge of already besieged towns.

They will promise a magic number of jobs for local people; tempt with free park-and-ride buses to town, hand-on-heart conservation of wild habitats. We've heard it all before, and I fought against these developments during my stint.

We are too small a country. We need to buy local produce from local growers and encourage the rural economy, cut down on long-haul distribution. Super- duper-markets are nothing more than glorified department stores and should build upwards in towns and have underground parking.

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