For one brief moment, let me introduce you to the Shetland Islands, a beautiful archipelago of Scotland which lies just of its north eastern shores. They are situated about 50 miles to the northeast of Orkney and approximately 170 miles southeast of the Faroe Islands. The total land mass is 567 square miles and its total population is 22,210 in 2009.

It has been inhabited since the Mesolithic period (that’s 10,000 – to – 5,000 years ago) and fair play, you have to give them credit for getting along quite happily without any interference from the boys at Cheshunt.

It amuses me no end when I hear that there are numerous areas set aside to protect the local fauna and flora of the area, up to and including a number of important seabird nesting sites, (which of course is very important may I say).

But for the life of me I cannot find any mention at all within the statute that protects the livelihood and businesses of their community from the greater predator of them all -  “The Supermarket chain.”

It is a well-documented fact that when a big retailer moves into a town it has a major negative effect on all other retail businesses. For reference, please see most of the devastated towns in the UK.

But when that effect starts, the smaller business cannot compete on a like-for-like basis. Solid family businesses, like Malcomson & Co on the Shetland Islands, which has been in existence for 1690 years, then have to close their doors. See closure for Shetland Bakery

So, shame on you Tesco and shame on you civil town planners of Shetland, for allowing all this to happen to your own community.

Enough is enough; we have to protect the local community, our local community. Many small local businesses employ countless local people, all monies stay within the community, for the betterment of the community. When multi nationals move in, all monies (profits) go back to head office, hundreds of miles away, just when will we ever learn?

Stay local, shop local and be a responsible member of your local community, before it’s too late.

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