Villagers angry at shopkeeper snub

SOME villagers may boycott a convenience store whose shopkeeper is being made to leave his home after a supermarket buy-out, it has been claimed.But yesterday supermarket giant Tesco said the 58-year-old local retailer had been offered a work relocation option and a generous settlement for his living accommodation.

By Roddy Ashworth

SOME villagers may boycott a convenience store whose shopkeeper is being made to leave his home after a supermarket buy-out, it has been claimed.

But yesterday supermarket giant Tesco said the 58-year-old local retailer had been offered a work relocation option and a generous settlement for his living accommodation.

Terry Sadler has run the local general stores in Great Bentley for 13 years, during which time it was owned by Dillons and more recently One Stop.


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Mr Sadler, who lived with his wife Stephanie above the shop, even moved with it to the other side of the village's famous green when the store was relocated.

But after One Stop was bought by Tesco last year Mr Sadler was told the shop was being refurbished as a "Tesco Express" and he would subsequently have to apply to them for the position of manager.

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And despite his popularity with local people and a respected position in the community the supermarket giant turned him down for the job.

Yesterday Great Bentley resident Donald Walker, who lives in Thorrington Road, said he thought Tesco had been unfair.

"Terry has done a very good job with the shop while it was Dillons and while it was One Stop," he said.

"He is a very well liked and valued member of the community and now he has had to move to Colchester.

"Now some people are saying they will refuse to shop there ever again because of the way he has been treated."

Yesterday Lynda McWilliams, chairwoman of the Great Bentley Parish Council, said: "Personally I think it is a terrible thing we are losing a couple who have been in the village for some considerable time.

"They have taken part in many village activities and it is a shame we are losing them because of changes at the shop."

Mr Sadler last night said he was unable comment on the matter.

However a spokesman for Tesco said yesterday: "The gentleman has been offered another job within One Stop and it is there for him if he wants it.

"It is another managerial role in the area, plus a generous settlement with regard to his living accommodation.

"As I understand it we have not had an answer back from him."

He added: "It is nice to know that local people do think of him as part of the community and we are sure the new management and staff at the new Tesco Express will be regarded equally as highly."

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