Petition launched in bid to save threatened Cobholm Co-op
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of people have signed a petition opposing Co-op's proposal to shut its store in Cobholm.
The plan has caused a furore in the close-knit community where people are keen to preserve the amenity.
Harnessing the strength of feeling and asking shoppers to put their names to a petition is local resident Margaret Jennis whose family including many great grandchildren mostly live in the area.
'We will not go down without a fight,' she said. 'The community is fighting back for its Co-op. I have been standing outside the shop and I already have 15 pages of signatures with around 20 on each page and I have only been there a few hours.
'People are not happy, particularly the older people and there is real concern about where they will pay their bills.
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'And mums with prams are upset too because it is a very convenient store which is accessible for a lot of different people.'
The 68-year-old of Granville Road said the shop was at the heart of the community, where generations had worked and shopped.
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She said she felt for the staff as well as the customers who were genuinely worried about the impact of the closure.
With major chains like Tesco and Morrisons feeling the pinch she said pricing was an issue and called for Government grant aid towards refurbishment costs for anyone taking it on.
She and others intended to spend the week collecting signatures with the aim of sending them off to Co-op's head office in the hope they will change their mind.
As reported in the Mercury last week the Co-op dropped its bombshell announcement last week. As the fallout rippled through the community Mrs Jennis and others decided to turn their anger into action.
A spokesman for Co-op stressed it was a proposal and that a consultation was underway.
Nick Denny, executive officer for the East of England Co-op said it was not a position the company took lightly, adding: 'We have to balance providing a service to local communities and ensuring our overall business succeeds.'
The shop has been in Mill Road for at least 50 years. It is due to close on February 7.
Former Yarmouth borough councillor Frank Drew, who lives in Cobholm, said: 'The Co-op is going to be missed. I go in there every day and people use the store.
'I cannot understand the decision to close it.'