This morning Hazel and I met with Phil Crawford, the new manager of Tesco, Robert Jarrald, the Customer Services manager, along with representatives from their cleaning contractors and external maintenance contractor.
The meeting was very positive. Phil is a "new broom" and is keen to get involved with the village as he recognises that we have common objectives. We covered a lot of ground and some interesting issues arose which we weren't expecting.
Phil is keen to write a piece for the next Village View.
Action: HMS to give him a back issue or two
Phil is keen to read milton-news
Action: PKO to add him to the mailing list
They are happy for us to have a noticeboard for Youth Notices. They will even pay for it although we have to pay for installation, maintenance etc and they would like some publicity out of it. "Tesco in the Community" across the top might be enough although if we could get it into Cambridge Evening News too that would be in everyone's interest.
Action: HMS to follow through
They don't routinely look for trolleys outside the store and rely on villagers reporting them. We explained that, historically, calls to the store had been ignored. We were told that this had changed and we should contact Robert 548400 and he will ensure they are removed that day. We raised the issue of trolleys which were left in places which should be clearly visible to staff (on Cambridge Road for example). Phil said he was trying to bring about a culture change among staff so that they spotted things like this and reported them.
They have put in a bid for "cattle grids" at the store exits, but trolleys will still escape even if they do this.
Action: PKO/JEC to publicise reporting regime via milton-news and next Village View
They are tightening up on sales of alcohol to minors after a couple of recent entrapment cases by trading standards somewhere which led to prosecutions. Staff are being reminded that they can be prosecuted if they sell alcohol to minors, not just the store.
They also said that if, when cleaning up after parties on the Recs, we come across Tesco receipts we should give them to Tesco as they can identify the checkout operator and take action if a pattern emerges.
Action: RLEW, RJF etc please note and pass on to others who're cleaning up
They are concerned with crime figures at the store. They have no plans for more cameras outside, most of the crime they're seeing is in store, mostly shoplifting.
We raised the question of access for contractors doing the works for the skate park. Phil is happy for us to have access over the 3 month period, and Hazel will contact him when we know the likely dates. Tesco are intending to replace the fence which keeps being broken with a more secure wall. Phil indicated that he would be willing to include a secure gate in that wall, but only if MPC/MCC paid the incremental cost of including the gate.
Action: MPC to discuss at our September meeting
Action: RLEW, wearing his MCC ORC chair hat, to liaise with Robert
Phil was unhappy about the advertising which gets attached to the roundabout and the signposts on the slip roads. Not the village related stuff but "Pine Warehouse" and the like. I said we weren't happy about it either and I remove it when I see it and suggested that they did too. He was keen on doing this if we were happy. I assured him that we were.
We also told him we were intending to increase the litter picking on our side of the roundabout if he could sort out his side.
They're keen on the roundabout being landscaped. I explained that we had agreed to wait until after the cycle bridge landscaping had been done. (If we decide to look for sponsorship for the roundabout when we look at it again Tesco seem like an obvious prospect judging by their feelings on this.)
He knew nothing about the cycle bridge so we explained about that. He was concerned about the possible impact if the road was restricted at any time during the building.
He is not happy with the state of the shrubbery on the left hand side coming down into the village, just outside their fence. He is happy to take on responsibility for maintaining it but we weren't sure if this is MCC, County Council or Highways agency land.
Action: SJD to confirm ownership
They also have problems at the re-cycling centre, where people are fly tipping(!). Sofas were among the items mentioned!! They ask SCDC to remove this rubbish but it seems to take a long time for it to happen.
Action: RTS to discuss with appropriate officers
This is not so easily dealt with as litter and damage, as action has to be specially commissioned: they have no running contract to cover it. They do appreciate the need to keep on top of it.
We suggested they might like to add their weight to our discussions with Anglian Water. Hazel has since sent them the email addresses to complain to.
Is there a charity fund-raising event coming up in the village at which a supply of these could be given away? Tesco have some to donate to a good cause. Next meeting
Milton Tesco seems to have a particular problem with its customers' behaviour in the car park. There seems to be a very high incidence (compared to other stores) of minor damage to cars in the car park and a lot of rubbish is left behind in the car park.
Phil felt another meeting in the Autumn would be useful.