Tesco manager listens to residents’ concerns

Manager of Leyland's Tesco Extra, Simon Court
Manager of Leyland's Tesco Extra, Simon Court
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A Leyland supermarket has offered an olive branch to frustrated residents over anti-social behaviour problems on its site.

People living near Tesco on Towngate have been complaining about havoc caused by ‘boy racers’, drug users and youths on skate boards on the store’s car park during the evenings.

Last month, police organised a meeting for the issues to be discussed publicly, but when a representative from Tesco failed to attend due to illness, it angered residents even further.

Now, the manager of the Tesco Extra store has offered to help alleviate the concerns for good.

One of the worries from residents centred around a fence which separates Tesco’s car park from the back access of Fox Lane.

They said it had been broken by people wanting to use the area as a meeting place to take drugs, since police started moving them away from the car park.

Resident Tony Chetwood said at the follow-up meeting last week: “The drug users use it as a place to hide.

“I’ve tried to talk to Tesco about it but whenever I go into the shop, I’m told that the manager is not available, and nobody ever gets back to me.

“All the residents are concerned about is will something ever be done?”

Mr Chetwood sent a letter to manager Simon Court following the Guardian’s last article on the issue in January.

Mr Court responded at the meeting: “Work will start to repair the fence next week, and it will be replaced with a tougher, better-quality wood.

“We’re still trying to get some clarity on whose responsibility the fence is.”

He added: “I’ve been here for 18 months but the first time I was made aware about this issue was when I received your letter (Mr Chetwood).

“In your eyes, you’ve spoken to someone at Tesco and that has not been passed on to me, so I can only apologise for that.”

Mr Chetwood also asked about raised bollards being erected to stop ‘boy racers’ using the Leyland Cross side of the car park at night time, which Mr Court said he would look in to.

“I will ask about it,” he said. “I can’t promise anything, but with the new Click and Collect facility closing at 9pm, that section of the car park could, in theory, close then too.”

Police are also attempting to crack down on skate boarders causing a nuisance around that area by putting up new signs which read ‘No ball games or skate boards outside these shops’.

Community Beat Manager Debbie Thompson added that police were keeping an eye out for people hiding alcohol in the bushes between the chip shop and the chemist, and said that if Tesco could increase its own security around that part, it would helpful.